YouTuber Sentenced in Odd Plane Crash Case

(VitalNews.org) – A former Olympian snowboarder-turned-YouTuber was just sentenced to half a year in prison after he admitted to deliberately crashing his airplane in order to gain more views online.

Back in June, 30-year-old Trevor Jacob, a former Olympian who became a YouTube star, pleaded guilty to a charge of destruction and concealment with intent to obstruct a government investigation.

Jacob intentionally crashed his private plane while recording a stunt for his YouTube channel in Santa Barbara County, California. According to a Justice Department press release published on Monday, the incident happened two years ago, on November 24, 2021. Afterward, Jacob concealed evidence from federal investigators that he downed the plane.

Prosecutors said that Jacobs likely committed the crime “to generate social media and news coverage for himself” and for “financial gain.” The YouTuber accepted a sponsorship deal and promised to promote the company by performing his stunt and releasing it online. The US Attorney’s Office said that Jacob “exercised exceptionally poor judgment” and that such daredevil behavior “cannot be tolerated.”

According to the Justice Department, Jacob rigged multiple cameras inside the aircraft before taking off from Lompoc City Airport for a planned flight to Mammoth Lakes. On the way, he purposefully crash-landed the aircraft, which went down in the Los Padres National Forest, settling in a dry brush area. Before the plane reached the ground, Jacob ejected himself from the cockpit and recorded himself parachuting to safety.

Jacob hiked over to the crash site and recovered the video footage of the stunt. Then, in December 2021, he posted an edited compilation of the footage on his channel. The video was removed but then later restored. Jacob lied to investigators for weeks that he didn’t know where the plane wreckage was located, which prosecutors disproved, providing evidence that Jacob returned to the site and recovered the remains.

In a report of the accident, Jacob lied and said his aircraft “experienced a full loss of power” about a half-hour after takeoff, a story he also told the Federal Aviation Administration inspector. The following year, Jacob lost his pilot license. Now, he’s facing six months in prison.

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