US : YouTuber pilot,Trevor Jacob admits crashing own aircraft for views
US prosecutors have announced that a YouTuber who deliberately crashed an aircraft for views will plead guilty to obstructing federal investigations by cleaning up the crash site.
Trevor Jacob, 29 years old, uploaded the video to YouTube on December 20, 2021. He implied that it was an accident. The video has over 2.9 million views to date.
In a plea deal, he claimed that he had filmed the video in connection with a sponsorship agreement.
He could face up to 20 years in prison.
The US Justice Department said that the 29-year-old pilot and skydiver has agreed to plead guilty to one felony charge of destruction and concealment in order to obstruct an investigation by the federal government.
Mr. Jacob, in November 2021, took off on a solo trip from an airport near Santa Barbara, California, with cameras mounted to his plane. Jacob also brought a selfie stick and a parachute along with his cameras.
He “did not intend to reach his destination, but instead planned to eject from his aircraft during the flight and video himself parachuting to the ground and his airplane as it descended and crashed”, the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said.
The plane crashed into the Los Padres National Forest 35 minutes after takeoff. He hiked to the site and recovered the footage.
Some YouTube viewers were skeptical of the crash, noting that Mr. Jacob was already wearing a parachute and made no attempt to land the plane safely.
He reported the crash to the National Transportation Safety Board, who said he was responsible for preserving the wreckage. According to the plea agreement, Mr. Jacob later claimed he did not know the location of the site.
He did, and returned the helicopter and secured and removed the wreckage, which he later destroyed, the statement says.
Mr. Jacob is expected to make his initial court appearance in the coming weeks.
His pilot’s license was revoked last year.
Mr. Jacob’s lawyer has not responded to the BBC’s request for comment.
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