YouTuber Who Deliberately Crashed Airplane For Views Admits To Obstructing Federal Investigation (justice.gov)
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Longtime Slashdot reader UnknowingFool writes:
YouTuber Trevor Jacob has pled guilty to felony federal obstruction of an investigation for removing and destroying wreckage of his airplane that he intentionally crashed in November 2021 for online YouTube views. Maximum sentence is 20 years.
On November 24, 2021 Jacob was flying solo from Lompoc City Airport to Mammoth Lakes, California. He reported to the FAA that he had engine trouble and had to abandon the plane using a parachute. After the FAA launched an active investigation, Jacob lied about not knowing the location of wreckage for the next several weeks despite his video footage that he found the wreckage shortly after landing on the ground. On December 10, 2021 Jacob and a friend lifted the wreckage away from the national forest crash site using a helicopter. Jacob transported the wreckage back to Lompoc City Airport with a truck. He then cut up and disposed of the wreckage over then next several days using the airport’s trash bins.
On December 23,2021 Jacob posted a YouTube video titled, “I Crashed My Airplane” which showed his account of engine trouble and the crash. Keen viewers were immediately skeptical of Jacob’s account of a flight “emergency” noting he had multiple cameras recording the event including a selfie stick and that Jacob was wearing a parachute before the engine trouble occurred. Pilots commented how Jacob failed to follow basic procedures like attempting to restart the plane or contacting air traffic control with a mayday before ditching the plane. Largely based on the his YouTube video, the FAA revoked his pilot’s license in April 2022.