A YouTuber who posted a video of himself crashing a small plane in California in November 2021 has agreed to plead guilty to a felony.
Trevor Daniel Jacob, a 29-year-old “YouTube pilot” from Lompoc, Calif., has agreed to plead guilty to one count of sabotage and cover-up with intent to obstruct a federal investigation. The offense is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. said the U.S. Department of Justice.
On November 24, 2021, Jacob took off from the Lompoc airport on a solo flight in a TaylorCraft BL-65, purported to be bound for Mammoth Lakes, California.
However, after a 35-minute flight, Jacob jumped out of the plane while flying over a forest, filming himself parachuting to the ground and the plane crashing.
After landing, Jacob recovered data from the plane that indicated it was descending to the ground, and then retrieved and destroyed the wreckage, according to the Justice Department.
Experienced pilot, skydiver and former Olympic snowboarder Jacob posted a YouTube video a month after the crash.
According to court documents, Jacob admitted to intentionally crashing the plane. Before the flight, he had multiple video cameras attached to different parts of the plane and wore a parachute, which is highly unusual for a small plane pilot.
According to the plea bargain, he initially agreed to help locate the crash site and provide the coordinates of the crashed plane and a video of the crash to investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board, but the location of the wreckage has since been identified. He said he didn’t know.
In a statement, U.S. prosecutors said Jacob was expected to appear in court in the coming weeks.
A version of his video titled “I Crashed My Airplane” remains on YouTube and has been viewed nearly 3 million times.
The Federal Aviation Administration revoked Jacob’s pilot license in April 2022, citing “lack of care, judgment and responsibility.”
A lawyer for Jacob did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
https://news.sky.com/story/youtuber-who-staged-small-plane-crash-to-plead-guilty-to-obstructing-investigation-12878937 YouTuber pleads guilty to obstructing investigation after directing small plane crash | US news