Trevor Jacob, an American snowboarder and extreme sports athlete, was jailed for 6 months for deliberately crashing his plane for clicks and then lying to U.S. investigators about the incident.
Jacob, a 30-year-old YouTuber sensation and former Olympic athlete from California, crashed his one-seater airplane on camera in a video published in December 2021. In the video, which has millions of views, he jumps out of the plane sporting a selfie stick and parachutes down, leaving the plane unmanned and destined to crash. A camera on the plane shows the moment it crashes into the side of a bushy California mountain.
Federal prosecutor said Monday Jacob "most likely committed this offense to generate social media and news coverage for himself and to obtain financial gain."
"Nevertheless, this type of 'daredevil' conduct cannot be tolerated," they added.
In the December 2021 video, Jacob says that he did not intentionally crash the plane, but realized that there was nowhere for him to land while he was mid-flight, and parachuted out in need of an emergency escape.
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The U.S. Justice Department convicted him as part of a plea deal for one felony count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct an investigation. On Dec. 10, 2021, Jacob flew to the site of the plane crash with a friend and collected the wreckage, and ultimately cut it up into small parts and disposed of the pieces.
In a statement, Jacob said that "this experience has been so humbling" and called his sentencing the “right decision.”
As part of the plea agreement, Jacob said he filmed the video for a product sponsorship deal.
The Federal Aviation Administration revoked Jacob’s pilot's license in April 2022. On Monday night, Jacob posted a video that he got his pilot's license back but would have to serve time in prison.
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