Olympic snowboarder Trevor Jacob has finally come clean and admitted he staged a plane crash to get views for his YouTube channel. Marketwatch.com reports Jacob, age 29, plead guilty to pretending his Taylorcraft BL-65 had malfunctioned forcing a midair bailout back on Nov. 24, 2021.
He also admitted to destroying the wreckage in California’s Los Padres National Forest to cover up his tracks so investigators would think it was an accident (make sure to read on get the full details on that criminal act).
THE FAKE PLANE MALFUNCTION/BAILOUT VIDEO:
The entire event was pre-planned as an advertising stunt for an “indestructible wallet” brand that Jacob had a sponsorship deal with. Prosecutors say Jacob took off from Lompoc City Airport with a flight plan to go to Mammoth Lakes but did not intend on landing there. He had GoPros mounted on multiple places on the plane (which is normal enough for a YouTuber) but suspiciously wore a parachute the entire flight.
Jacob was over the national park when the plane appeared to stall and he jumped out. Jacob parachuted to the valley floor, hiked back to the wreckage, gathered up his cameras (important if you’re gonna make a viral video) and made quite a show of walking out of the secluded area.
Here’s where it gets really good…Jacob told investigators he couldn’t locate the plane but that was very much untrue. Prosecutors now say he returned to the crash site in a helicopter along with a friend and airlifted the wreckage to Rancho Sisquoc and loaded it on a trailer. He later took it to Lompoc City Airport where he took it apart and disposed of the evidence.
The FAA determined the crash was intentional last year and stripped Jacob of his pilot’s license but the full details of the sham crash are just now coming to light.
Jacob is expected to plead guilty before a federal judge in the next few weeks to one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
We will be sure to update this story as news of the verdict is handed down.
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