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A YouTuber who posted a video of himself intentionally crashing his small plane has been sentenced to six months in jail.
Trevor Daniel Jacob, 30, a pilot from Lompoc, California, was found guilty of obstructing a federal investigation by destroying the wreckage after the crash, according to the US Justice Department.
Jacob admitted guilt in June to one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.
The experienced pilot and skydiver uploaded the video titled “I Crashed My Airplane” a month after the stunt in 2021, which remains on YouTube with more than four million views.
Jacob took off from an airport in Lompoc on a solo flight in a Taylorcraft BL-65 purportedly destined for Mammoth Lakes, California.
However, after flying for 35 minutes he jumped out of the plane while flying over a forest and filmed himself parachuting to the ground.
He also captured the plane plummeting with his camera and others mounted on the aircraft’s wing and tail.
After he landed, Jacob went to the crash site and recovered footage from the onboard cameras, the US government said.
According to the plea agreement, Jacob had a sponsorship deal to promote a company’s product in a video he would post, and he never intended to complete the flight that day.
The Justice Department said Jacob later told investigators about the crash and was told he was responsible for preserving the wreckage.
When asked about the location, Jacob lied – saying he did not know the site, the department said.
On 10 December 2021, Jacob and a friend flew to the site in a helicopter which lifted the wreckage and flew it to a trailer attached to his truck, the plea agreement said.
The remains were later cut up and its parts were disposed of in bins.
The Federal Aviation Administration revoked Jacob’s pilot licence in April 2022, saying he “demonstrated a lack of care, judgment and responsibility”.
A video has since appeared on Jacob’s YouTube channel where he claims he got his licence back.