Social Media Star Going to Prison for Intentional Plane Crash

( – Trevor Daniel Jacob is a former Olympian who runs a YouTube channel. In 2021, the unthinkable happened to him: his plane crashed while he was piloting it. Now, he’s going to prison because of that crash.

On December 4, the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California announced that US District Judge John Walter sentenced Jacob to six months in federal prison. The YouTuber pleaded guilty in May to felony obstruction of a federal investigation. He intentionally destroyed the wreckage of the plane that he crashed in Santa Barbara County. He did so in order to conceal the fact that he crashed the plane on purpose.

The accident happened on November 24, 2021, during a solo flight to Mammoth Lakes. He’d mounted several cameras on the plane to capture various angles. He also had a parachute on. About half an hour after he took off, he ejected himself from the plane, and it crashed into the Los Padres National Forest. When he landed safely, he hiked to the wreck and removed the data that contained the recording of his flight, including the crash.

Two days later, Jacob contacted the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about the plane crash. The federal agency launched an investigation and told Jacob to preserve the wreckage. On December 10, Jacob and a friend took a helicopter to the site of the wreckage, put straps on it, and carried it away from the site. The YouTuber then destroyed the airplane wreckage and threw it away in trash cans.

He told prosecutors he disposed of the wreckage to obstruct authorities. In the sentencing memo, prosecutors said Jacob “exercised exceptionally poor judgment” and most likely committed the crime “to generate social media and news coverage for himself and to obtain financial gain.” The video ended up going viral and was viewed millions of times. Prosecutors went on to say that conduct like Jacob’s “cannot be tolerated.” In 2022, the Federal Aviation Administration revoked his pilot’s license.

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