Trevor Daniel Jacob, a 29-year-old YouTuber, pleaded guilty on March 8, 2023, to one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. Jacob was accused of staging a plane crash in December 2021 to make a YouTube video.
Jacob uploaded a video to YouTube on December 23, 2021, titled “I Crashed My Airplane.” The video showed Jacob parachuting from a small plane flying over California’s Los Padres National Forest. The plane then crashed into the forest.
Jacob claimed that the plane had engine trouble and that he was forced to parachute out. However, investigators later determined that Jacob had intentionally crashed the plane. Jacob admitted to investigators that he had turned off the plane’s engine and jumped out with a parachute.
Jacob faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 2, 2023. His pilot license was revoked in April of 2022.
The case against Jacob was investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the FBI. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case for the Central District of California.
Jacob’s plea agreement is a reminder that it is a crime to obstruct a federal investigation. Anyone who is caught obstructing a federal investigation could face serious criminal charges.