US YouTuber jailed after deliberately crashing plane for views

Extreme sports YouTuber Trevor Daniel Jacob has been sentenced to six months in prison after deliberately plunging his airplane into a mountain for views and obstructing a federal investigation. Credit: YouTube/TrevorJacob

A YouTuber who deliberately plunged his aeroplane into mountains in California, before filming himself parachuting to safety has been sentenced to six months in prison.

The US Justice Department have charged 30-year-old Trevor Daniel Jacob with one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.

The experienced pilot and skydiver posted a video titled “I Crashed My Airplane”, in December 2021.

Footage showcased Jacob's small plane purporting to have an engine failure over the mountainous Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County.

Already wearing a parachute, he jumped out of the plane with a selfie stick in hand.

His jump and the aircraft’s plunge were recorded by cameras mounted on the plane’s wing and tail and by the camera he carried.

After landing, he hiked to the crash site and recovered video from the onboard cameras, the government said.

According to the plea agreement, Jacob had a sponsorship deal to promote a company’s product in a video he would post, and he never intended to complete the November 24, 2021, flight.

The Justice Department said Jacob later informed federal investigators about the crash and was told he was responsible for preserving the wreckage. He agreed to determine its location - and then lied that he did not know the location.

Mr Jacob's pilot license was revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration. Credit: YouTube

On December 10, 2021, Jacob and a friend flew to the site in a helicopter that was used to lift the wreckage and fly it to a trailer attached to his pickup truck, according to the agreement.

The plane was later cut up, and the parts were disposed of in trash bins.

Jacob, of Lompoc, California, had his pilot licence revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2022.

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