YouTube Influencer Jailed for Staging Plane Crash Video and Destroying Evidence

In a shocking turn of events, Trevor Daniel Jacob, a 30-year-old influencer and experienced pilot, has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for staging a plane crash in California to create a sensational YouTube video. The sentencing comes as a result of Jacob obstructing the investigation by deliberately destroying the wreckage, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Jacob, who pleaded guilty in June to one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation, orchestrated the incident for a video titled “I Crashed My Airplane,” released in December 2021. The video purported to depict Jacob’s small plane experiencing engine failure over the mountainous Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County. Already equipped with a parachute, Jacob jumped out of the plane with a selfie stick camera in hand, capturing the entire event.

However, it was revealed that the crash was a carefully planned stunt. According to the plea agreement, Jacob had a sponsorship deal to promote a company’s product in a video he would post, and he never intended to complete the flight on November 24, 2021.

Following the incident, Jacob informed federal investigators about the crash but then misled them about the wreckage’s location. He later flew to the crash site in a helicopter with a friend on December 10, 2021, and used it to transport the wreckage to a trailer attached to his pickup truck. The plane was subsequently dismantled, and its parts were disposed of in trash bins.

In addition to the six-month prison sentence, Jacob had his pilot license revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2022, marking the legal consequences of his ill-conceived stunt.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the potential legal ramifications of dangerous and deceptive online stunts, highlighting the importance of responsible content creation and ethical behavior, especially in situations involving public safety and federal regulations.

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