YouTuber deliberately crashed his own plane for views, US aviation agency says | YouTube

The US Federal Aviation Administration has revoked a YouTuber’s pilot license after it concluded that he intentionally crashed his plane for the sake of gaining online views.

On 24 November 2021, Trevor Jacob was flying over California’s Los Padres national forest in his small single-engine plane when his propeller stopped working.

“I’m over the mountains and I … have an engine out,” Jacob said into his camera while sitting in the cockpit. He then proceeded to jump out of the plane, filming himself using a selfie stick before landing with his parachute into an open field.

Jacob filmed the whole incident and uploaded it to YouTube in a video titled I Crashed My Plane. Since being posted online in December, the video has racked up 2.2m views.

In the video, the empty plane is shown speeding towards the mountains before crashing into the wilderness.

On 11 April the Federal Aviation Administration concluded its investigation into the incident and determined that Jacob had crashed his 1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 as a stunt, saying, “On November 24, 2021, you demonstrated a lack of care, judgment, and responsibility by choosing to jump out of an aircraft exactly so you could record the footage of the crash.”

The FAA justified its conclusion by pointing out the fact that Jacob had attached multiple cameras to the outside of his plane, including a camera pointed in the direction of the propeller “in order to record video footage of the outside and inside of the plane during the flight.”

Other pieces of evidence the FAA cited included the sport parachute backpack container that Jacob put on before the flight, his opening the left side pilot door before claiming that the engine had failed, his failure to contact air traffic control on the emergency frequency before jumping out the plane and his lack of attempts to restart the engine by increasing airflow over the propeller.

The FAA also said that Jacob did not make any attempts to search for safe areas to land, even though “there were multiple within gliding range” in which he could have made a safe landing, and that he jumped out of the plane while holding a camera attached to a selfie stick and continued to record the plane during his descent.

Additionally, the agency found that Jacob had recovered then disposed of the plane wreckage, as well as recovered the cameras that he had attached to the plane before the flight.

As a result of its findings, the FAA has revoked Jacob’s pilot license and informed him in a six-page letter that if “you fail to surrender your certificates immediately, you will be subject to further legal enforcement action, including a civil penalty of up to $1,644.00, for each day you fail to surrender it.”

In response to the letter, Jacob posted a video on YouTube on Saturday, saying, “I didn’t think that just posting a video of an adventure gone south would ruffle so many feathers.”

“The aviation community has been pretty tough on me, so I’m thinking about quitting altogether and giving up, just because I’m hated,” he added, while filming himself on his way to the post office to mail his pilot’s license.

According to the letter, Jacob is not allowed to reapply for his pilot license for a year.

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