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US Youtuber jailed six months for staging plane crash

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YouTube personality Trevor Jacob, 30, from Lompoc, California, has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for deliberately crashing his airplane as part of a stunt to gain views and secure a sponsorship deal.

Jacob pleaded guilty to one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation earlier this year.

Jacob intentionally crashed his Taylorcraft BL-65 airplane and later posted a video on YouTube titled “I Crashed My Airplane,” garnering 2.9 million views before being made private in November 2021.

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The video showed Jacob taking off from Lompoc City Airport and ejecting from the plane about 35 minutes after departure.

Subsequently, he lied to investigators and an FAA safety inspector about the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigators had initially reached an agreement with Jacob to provide the crash location and videos.

However, he later falsely claimed not to know the location and had moved the wreckage via helicopter before destroying it.

The plea agreement revealed that Jacob intended to use the video for a sponsorship deal with an unnamed company that made wallets, seeking financial gain.

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As a consequence of his actions, the FAA revoked Jacob’s pilot license in April 2022.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dominique Caamano, who prosecuted the case, emphasized the potential danger of such stunts, stating, “If you’re going to do something against the law, there’s going to be a consequence.”

In a statement provided by his attorney, Jacob expressed remorse, saying, “This experience has been so humbling. I’ve learned more about myself than in my entire prior life combined. I have learned from my mistakes and look forward to being a contributing member of society and a mentor for youth. I am excited to continue my positive growth as a person through my six-month term in prison.”

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The sentencing memorandum cited by the Justice Department stated that Jacob’s actions reflected “exceptionally poor judgment” and were likely driven by a desire for social media coverage and financial gain.

Prosecutors asserted that such “daredevil” conduct cannot be tolerated.

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