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YouTuber who staged plane crash in California sentenced 6 months in prison for obstructing investigation


An influencer who staged a plane crash in California to make a YouTube video of himself parachuting to safety was sentenced Monday to six months in federal prison.

Trevor Daniel Jacob, 30, was sentenced for obstructing the investigation by destroying the debris from the Nov. 24, 2021, plane crash, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Jacob had pleaded guilty in June to one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.

The video titled “I Crashed My Airplane” was posted in December 2021 and purported to show Jacob’s small plane having engine failure over the mountainous Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County. Jacob was already wearing a parachute when he jumped out of the plane with a selfie stick camera in his hand.

YOUTUBER WHO STAGED PLANE CRASH FOR A VIDEO TO PLEAD GUILTY TO OBSTRUCTING INVESTIGATION

Justice Department

An influencer who staged a plane crash in California to make a YouTube video of himself parachuting to safety was sentenced Monday to six months in federal prison. (Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images)

The jump and the plane plunge were recorded by the camera Jacob was holding, as well as cameras mounted on the wing and tail of the plane. Jacob hiked to the crash site after his landing and recovered video from the cameras mounted on the plan, the Justice Department said.

According to the plea agreement, Jacob had a sponsorship deal to promote a company’s product in a video, and he never planned to complete the flight.

The Justice Department said when Jacob later informed federal investigators about the crash, he was told he would be held responsible for preserving the wreckage. He also agreed to disclose its location before lying and saying that he did not know the location.

NEW HAMPSHIRE CRASH LEADS TO AMMUNITION EXPLOSION

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Trevor Daniel Jacob, 30, was sentenced for obstructing the investigation by destroying the debris from the Nov. 24, 2021, plane crash. (Photo Illustration by Florian Gaertner/Getty Images)

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Jacob and a friend flew to the site on Dec. 10, 2021, in a helicopter to gather the wreckage to bring to another location and then they moved the parts with a trailer attached to his pickup truck, the plea agreement said. The plane was later cut up and the parts were thrown away in trash bins.

An experienced pilot and skydiver, Jacob had his pilot license revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2022.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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