It’s really sad what people will do for attention nowadays…
In this post:
YouTuber intentionally crashed airplane for views
The US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California has announced that 29-year-old Trevor Jacob has plead guilty to one count of destruction and concealment with intent to obstruct a federal investigation. This carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
What exactly happened here? On November 24, 2021, Jacob took off in his airplane from Lompoc City Airport in California, to operate a solo flight that was purportedly destined for Mammoth Lakes. However, he didn’t intend to reach his destination, but rather he planned to eject from his aircraft during the flight, and video himself parachuting to the ground while his airplane descended and crashed.
Jacob had reportedly secured a sponsorship from a company that sells various products. Pursuant to the sponsorship deal, Jacob agreed to promote the company’s products in a YouTube video. So he thought this video would get a lot of attention.
Prior to taking off, Jacob mounted several video cameras on different parts of the airplane, and also equipped himself with a parachute, video camera, and selfie stick. Approximately 35 minutes after taking off, while flying above the Los Padres National Forest, he ejected himself from the airplane and parachuted to the ground. You can see the video for yourself below.
He was then able to record the airplane as it descended and crashed into a dry brush area in Los Padres National Forest. He then hiked to the location of the wreck and recovered the data containing the video recording of his flight.
YouTuber obstructed investigation into crash
Unfortunately intentionally crashing a plane wasn’t even the worst thing Jacob did. Two days after the crash, Jacob informed the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about the plane crash. The NTSB then launched an investigation, and told Jacob he was responsible for preserving the wreckage so that the agency could examine it.
He agreed to determine the crash location and provide both coordinates of the downed plane and videos of the crash.
In the weeks following the plane crash, Jacob lied to investigators that he did not know the wreckage’s location. On December 10, 2021, Jacob and a friend flew by helicopter to the wreckage site, in order to secretly recover it. Jacob used straps to secure the wreckage, and then the helicopter lifted and carried it to Rancho Sisquoc in Santa Barbara County, where it was loaded onto a trailer attached to Jacob’s pickup truck.
He then drove the wreckage to Lompoc City Airport and unloaded it into a hangar. Once there, he cut up the wreckage into small pieces and destroyed it, depositing the detached parts of the wrecked airplane into trash bins at the airport and elsewhere.
Furthermore, Jacob lied to investigators, and falsely claimed that the aircraft experienced a full loss of power, which is why he decided to parachute out of the plane, because he couldn’t identify any safe landing options. Jacob’s pilots license has been revoked, though at this point that will be the least of his problems.
It really is sad how desperate some people are for attention. It’s bad enough to crash an airplane for views. It’s even worse to then lie to investigators and try to hide up the wreckage and chop it up into small pieces so it’s not found. Also, how did he see this playing out? If you’re going to lie to investigators, then you also can’t post a video online showing exactly what you intended to do, which negates the whole purpose of the publicity stunt.
I’m sure this guy will have some time in prison to think about his actions… maybe he can make a video about it.
What do you make of this incident?