YouTube sensation Trevor Daniel Jacob went a little too far in an attempt to boost his social media ratings. The FAA frowns on intentionally crashing your plane. Destroying the wreckage afterward happens to be a federal crime, so the 29-year-old is looking at serious consequences. He decided to plead guilty and throw himself on the mercy of the court, the DOJ announced Thursday.
Crashed for social media
CNN is reporting that social media personality Trevor Daniel Jacob “admitted to authorities he planned to crash his plane.” He filmed the whole crime in a video meant “to promote a wallet.”
Making things worse, he “later collected the aircraft’s wreckage and got rid of it to hinder federal investigators from probing the crash site.”
The federal attorney for the Central District of California issued a press release spelling out the engineered social media escapade. Jacob not only is, or rather was, a pilot, he also happens to be an accomplished skydiver.
Trevor Daniel Jacob, a 29-year-old YouTuber who intentionally crashed his airplane while pretending it was an unavoidable accident, has pleaded guilty to federal charges and faces 20 years in prison. pic.twitter.com/QzlNAROu4q
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) May 12, 2023
To keep his punishment from being worse in the long run, he “agreed to plead guilty to one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.”
He spilled his guts to investigators about the flight which happened November 24, 2021. The social media production stage was fully set. “Jacob departed from Lompoc City Airport, in Santa Barbara County, but he never intended to land the aircraft.” Kind of like that terrorist on 911.
Instead, he “planned to eject from his aircraft during the flight and video himself parachuting to the ground and his airplane as it descended and crashed.” That’s exactly what he did.
In order to film the perfect catastrophe for optimal social media ratings, “Jacob had put up several cameras in different parts of the plane and took with him a parachute, video camera and selfie stick.” According to plan, around 35 minutes after he took off, he bailed out “and videoed himself parachuting to the ground.” After he landed, he hiked to the wreck so he knew where to find it later.
Diligently, the producer “reported the crash to the National Transportation Safety Board two days later.” He lied about the crash site. The first chance he got, about two weeks later, Jacob “flew to the site with a friend, loaded up the wreckage and later destroyed it.”
As soon as the video “I Crashed My Airplane” hit the social media airwaves “some viewers were suspicious of the stunt, with a number of comments pointing out Jacob was already wearing a parachute, made no attempt to glide the aircraft to a safe landing area, and took his camera and selfie stick with him when abandoning the plane.”
YouTuber agrees to plead guilty to fed charge after intentionally crashing his plane for online views, DOJ says.
For clicks.. WTF
Trevor Daniel Jacob admitted to authorities he planned to crash his plane in a video he made to promote a wallethttps://t.co/uQ1AAyNJim
— Fin FoxGuy – Woke for 2024 (@FinFox2) May 12, 2023
It was pretty clear he did it on purpose. The FAA has rules that say you can’t do that. Making it look like a Hollywood extravaganza only made things worse.
“Jacob admitted in his plea agreement that he intended to make money through the video,” prosecutors note. “He also admitted to lying to federal investigators after submitting an aircraft accident incident report and falsely claimed the plane fully lost power roughly half an hour after takeoff.”
The FAA already grounded the social media influencer for life by yanking his pilot’s license. That’s what they did for the two guys who tried a midair plane swap. One did it, the other didn’t.