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California YouTuber sentenced to prison after intentionally crashing plane

YouTuber Trevor Daniel Jacob appears ready to jump from his plane, which later crashed.

TrevorJacob via YouTube

A California man was sentenced to six months in federal prison on Monday for allegedly lying to federal authorities when they were investigating an airplane he intentionally crashed to make a YouTube video.

The man, former Olympic snowboarder Trevor Daniel Jacob, filmed the YouTube video stunt to promote a wallet from a company that sponsored him, according to the plea agreement filed in the Central District of California. He pled guilty to destruction and concealment of a tangible object with intent to obstruct a federal investigation.

Jacob took off on a solo flight on Nov. 24, 2021, in Santa Barbara County, California, and parachuted out of the plane with a video camera and selfie stick. Upon landing, he hiked to the crash site in Los Padres National Forest. Two days later, he told the National Transportation Safety Board about the wreck.

The NTSB opened an investigation and notified Jacob that he was expected to preserve the plane wreckage and that the agency would need to see it, according to the plea agreement. Jacob allegedly agreed to inform the NTSB of the location, but lied multiple times when investigators asked over the next two months.

In December 2021, Jacob and a friend allegedly chartered a helicopter to take them to the crash site and bring the remains back to Santa Maria, California, where Jacob’s pickup truck awaited, after which Jacob cut up the plane and put it in the garbage in bits and pieces. Later that month, the defendant posted the video to YouTube with footage from the cameras he had put on the crashed plane and the camera he held when he parachuted.

Multiple federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB, worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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