YouTuber Who Crashed A Plane For Views Is Now Facing Up To 20 Years In Prison
The YouTuber carried out the stunt for a video he released in 2021 titled "I Crashed My Airplane."
A plane-crashing YouTuber is facing the possibility of up to 20 years behind bars after admitting to interfering with a federal investigation.
In short, this truly wild entry in the consistently depressing Did It for the Views canon begins back in 2021, at which point Trevor Jacob is said to have agreed to promote a sponsoring company’s wallet in one of his videos. On Nov. 24 of that year, prosecutors said, Jacob took off from Lompoc City Airport in California, only to eject from the craft roughly 35 minutes after takeoff.
Multiple cameras had been mounted to the plane by Jacob, who last week was announced to have admitted in a plea deal to never having intended to make it to his claimed destination of Mammoth Lakes. After ejection, Jacob filmed himself parachuting to the ground; the cameras on the plane, meanwhile, captured the crash.
Two days after the intentional crash, Jacob is said to have notified authorities, at which point investigations were launched. Though Jacob was told to preserve the wreckage from the crash, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California said he initially lied to investigators about the location. Later, he and another individual visited the crash site and retrieved pieces of wreckage, ultimately cutting them up and throwing them away.
The resulting video, seen above, was uploaded to YouTube in December 2021 and has since garnered 4.2 million views. Per the Justice Department, Jacob “intentionally crashed” the plane “to gain online views.” He has agreed to plead guilty to a count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation, which carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
When reached for comment by Complex on Monday, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rep confirmed that it had revoked Jacob’s private pilot certificate in April of last year. In a letter to Jacob, obtained by Complex, the FAA said he had “operated this flight to purposely cause [the plane] to crash.”
Complex has also reached out to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for additional comment. This story may be updated.