Trevor Jacob accused of crashing a plane and trying to destroy the evidence
An online influencer who faked an aircraft accident in California so he could film himself escaping by parachute has decided to plead guilty to crashing a plane on purpose. The United States Department of Justice said on Thursday that he had pleaded guilty to hampering the inquiry by destroying the aircraft's remains.
On Wednesday, 29-year-old Trevor Daniel Jacob of Lompoc, California, and his lawyer submitted a plea deal in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Jacob is scheduled to appear in federal court in a few weeks, according to a statement released by the U.S. attorney's office.
Crashing a plane for views?
Skilled pilot and skydiver Jacob pleaded guilty to destroying and concealing evidence in order to hinder a federal inquiry, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
In December 2021, a video named "I Crashed My Airplane" surfaced, claiming to show Jacob's crashing a plane into the mountains of Los Padres National Forest due to engine failure. With the parachute already on his back, he sprang out of the plane while holding the selfie stick.
The cameras on the plane's wings and tail, as well as the one he brought with him, captured him jumping off while the plane plummeted to the ground. Officials claim that when he landed, he hiked to the disaster scene and retrieved footage from the plane's onboard cameras.
About his plea bargain
The plea bargain states that Jacob never planned to complete the trip on November 24, 2021, since he had a sponsorship contract for promoting a company's product in a video. According to the Justice Department, Jacob lied to federal investigators about where the debris was hidden after he had already been notified that he was liable for its safety after the accident.
The agreement also reveals that, on December 10, 2021, Jacob and his friend went to the location of the crash in a helicopter and transferred the wreckage to a trailer behind his pickup truck. Later, the plane was taken apart, and its parts were thrown away.
The FAA took away Jacob's right to fly airplanes and helicopters by canceling his pilot license in 2022 after the crashing a plane for views scam.
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