A 29-year-old YouTuber who intentionally crashed his plane in California and filmed the stunt for online views has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge of obstructing an investigation, the Justice Department said Thursday.
Trevor Daniel Jacob, a pilot and skydiver, admitted that he planned to eject from his aircraft during a flight in November 2021 and video himself parachuting to the ground and his airplane as it descended and crashed, according to a plea agreement filed in court. He made the video to promote a wallet, prosecutors said.
He then collected the aircraft’s wreckage and got rid of it to hinder federal investigators from probing the crash site, the plea agreement said. He also lied to the Federal Aviation Administration, which revoked his pilot’s license last year over the crash.
“I did not jump out of my plane for views,” Jacob told ABC News at the time.
The charge carries up to a 20-year prison sentence. Jacob is expected to make his initial court appearance in a few weeks. His attorney declined to comment.
The FAA said in a letter to Jacob that the flight was “careless or reckless so as to endanger the life or property of another.” Jacob attached multiple cameras to the inside and outside of the plane and was wearing a sports parachute in a backpack during the flight, according to the letter.
The FAA said Jacob opened the side door of the plane claiming the engine had failed. The FAA noted that Jacob did not attempt to restart the engine, contact air traffic controllers about the problem or look for areas to land safely. The FAA said Jacob then jumped from the plane “while holding a camera attached to a selfie stick.”
Jacob posted a 12-minute video of the crash to his YouTube channel that has received nearly 3 million views, according to the video’s YouTube page.
- YouTuber agrees to plead guilty to federal charge after intentionally crashing his plane for online views, DOJ says | CNN | May,12,2023
- YouTuber agrees to plead guilty after crashing his plane in California for online views, DOJ says | The Orange County Register | May,12,2023
- YouTuber accused of intentionally crashing his plane agrees to plead guilty to federal charge | ABC13 Houston | May,11,2023