Trevor Jacob: YouTuber admits crashing plane for views after implying it was an accident
A US YouTuber intentionally crashed an airplane for views while implying it was an accident, according to US prosecutors.
Trevor Jacob, 29, posted the video of the crash to YouTube in December 2021, which has gathered nearly three million views to date.
Prosecutors said he will plead guilty to obstructing a federal investigation by cleaning up the site of the crash.
In a plea agreement, Mr Jacob said he filmed the video for a sponsorship deal.
The YouTuber now faces up to 20 years in federal prison after he purposely destroyed the wreckage of the single-engine plane that he crashed in California’s Los Padres national forest, according to a statement from the US attorney’s office.
He has agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.
Mr Jacob left Santa Barbara airport on a solo flight with cameras mounted on his plane alongside with a parachute and a selfie stick.
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.
Mr Jacob parachuted out of the plane before it crashed and then uploaded a video to YouTube.
He originally told investigators that his plane lost power and that he did not know where the wreck was.
However, aviation experts doubted his account, finding that he had made no efforts to call air traffic control or land safely.
Despite telling federal authorities he did not know where the crash site was, he hiked to the site to recover video footage.
According to the plea agreement, he later returned by helicopter and removed and destroyed the wreckage.
He admitted doing this in order to mislead investigators, according to the authorities.
He is expected to make his initial court appearance in the coming weeks.