Youtuber Trevor Jacob pleaded guilty to deliberately crashing his plane in the California mountains for views in 2021.
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In December 2021 Trevor Jacob uploaded a video to YouTube titled “I Crashed My Airplane,” a 12-minute video depicting the moment the aircraft’s propellor seemingly stops working and Jacob, the pilot, is forced to parachute out.
This week the 29-year-old pleaded guilty to crashing the plane in Santa Barbara County in order to gain online views, with prosecutors alleging he later returned to the scene to destroy the evidence.
Following the crash, a federal investigation ensued, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California confirmed today that the man from Lompoc had pleaded guilty to obstructing a federal investigation.
Jacob, whose video has now been viewed 3 million times, could face up to 20 years in federal prison.
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The video shows the plane from several angles, with cameras mounted to the craft’s wing, tail and dashboard.
Jacob is shown flying the plane alone, smiling and remarking he was “on his way to Mammoth” on a “beautiful, beautiful day.”
Less than a minute into the video—and 35 minutes into the flight—the front propellor of the airplane is shown to slow and stop before Jacob climbs out and parachutes away.
As he manages to grab his selfie stick before making the leap, the video then features a few minutes of footage of Jacob falling through the air, with his aircraft seen tumbling away below.
According to the US military, a US MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed after an encounter with a Russian jet, but Russia has denied that the two aircraft made direct contact.
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