A YouTube star has admitted to intentionally crashing a plane into a mountain to get more views on the video-streaming platform and secure sponsorship deals.
Trevor Jacob is a former Olympic snowboarder-turned-YouTuber.
In a shocking video, Jacob jumped out of a fully-functioning single-manned plane mid-flight and filmed himself parachuting to the ground as the aircraft crashed into a mountain in Southern California.
He initially claimed that the plane had malfunctioned.
However, he has now admitted to federal prosecutors that he deliberately crashed his small plane to boost views for a sponsorship deal.
The US Attorney’s office for Central California confirmed in a press release that Jacob pleaded guilty to one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct an investigation.
He now faces a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars.
“According to his plea agreement, Jacob is an experienced pilot and skydiver who had secured a sponsorship from a company that sold various products, including a wallet,” prosecutors revealed.
“Pursuant to the sponsorship deal, Jacob agreed to promote the company’s wallet in a YouTube video that he would post.”
Jacob admitted in his plea agreement that he intended to make money through the video.
The video was posted on YouTube in late 2021 titled “I Crashed My Airplane.”
It shows Jacob parachuting out of the plane as the engine appeared to have “stalled.”
As of Sunday morning, the video has over four million views.
The ratio on the video of likes versus dislikes suggests that viewers are aware that the stunt was staged: 33k likes/207k dislikes.
Months after Jacob posted the video, the Federal Aviation Administration sent him a letter on April 11, 2022.
The letter states that he violated the agency’s regulations and operated his small plane in a “careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.”
His pilot license was revoked shortly after.
Now he faces jail, all because he wanted more views.
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