Popular YouTuber pilot, Trevor Jacob, has pleaded guilty to intentionally crashing his plane in Santa Barbara County for the purpose of gaining views on social media. Federal authorities say Jacob confessed to destroying the wreckage of the plane he crashed and agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge of destruction and concealment.
Jacob, who had a sponsorship deal with a wallet company, had mounted multiple video cameras on the plane and equipped himself with a parachute, video camera and a selfie stick before the crash. The video titled “I Crashed My Airplane” was posted on Dec. 23, 2021, and has since garnered 3.2 million views on YouTube.
On Nov. 26, 2021, Jacob took a solo flight from the Lompoc City Airport destined for Mammoth Lakes, but he never reached his reported destination. Instead, federal officials say he intentionally crashed the plane and ejected himself from the aircraft. He later confessed to planning the crash to promote the wallet company he had a sponsorship deal with.
After the crash, Jacob informed the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about the plane crash, which immediately prompted an investigation. Federal officials say he was instructed to preserve the wreckage and provide the coordinates of the crash location. However, on Dec. 10, 2021, Jacob and a friend flew to the site to collect the wreckage and later destroyed and threw the evidence into trash bins to obstruct the investigation.
Jacob’s pilot license was removed by the FAA in April 2022. The plea agreement was filed in a United States District Court in Los Angeles, and Jacob is expected to make his first court appearance in the coming weeks. He could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for the charge of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.