Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Justice Department officials announced Thursday that a 29-year-old YouTuber will plead guilty to a federal charge against him after deliberately destroying the wreckage of a plane he shot down to gain views.
Trevor Daniel Jacob admitted to authorities that he planned to shoot down his plane in a video he made and posted on YouTube.
Later, he collected and disposed of the plane’s wreckage to obstruct the feds’ investigation, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
The statement said the pilot and skydiver agreed to plead guilty.
CNN has reached out to Jacob’s attorney for comment.
Photo: From Trevor Jacob/YouTube
Jacob made this trip on November 24, 2021, when he left Lompoc City Airport in Santa Barbara County, but he never intended to land the plane, as he admitted in the plea agreement.
The statement said that Jacob placed several cameras in different parts of the plane, and took with him an umbrella, a video camera, and a selfie stick.
“About 35 minutes after takeoff, while flying over Los Padres National Forest near Santa Maria, Jacob filmed himself parachuting out of the plane,” he added.
After parachuting to the ground and recording the accident, he climbed into the wreckage of the plane, taking the video data of the accident with him, according to the statement.
Jacob reported the crash to the National Transportation Safety Board two days later, and agreed to share the plane’s wreckage site. Instead, he lied to the authorities and said he did not know where the wreckage was.
About two weeks later, he flew to the site with his friend, loaded the wreckage and later destroyed it, according to the statement, which refers to the plea agreement.
About a month after the plane crash, he uploaded a video to YouTube titled “I Crashed My Airplane”.
Some viewers questioned the adventure, and a number of comments pointed out that Jacob was actually wearing an umbrella, and took his camera and selfie stick with him as he left the plane.
“Jacob admitted in the affidavit agreement that he intended to make money through the video,” the statement added.
He also admitted to lying to federal investigators after filing a plane crash report, the press release said, and falsely claiming that the plane had completely shut down about half an hour after takeoff.
According to the statement, the FAA revoked Jacob’s flight license last year.
Jacob is expected to appear in court in the coming weeks.