YouTuber Trevor Jacob’s Pilot License Revoked Following Scathing FAA Report

Report Finds Jacob Intentionally Crashed Plane in Los Padres and Later Disposed of Wreckage

Credit: Courtesy

Trevor Jacob, the YouTube personality who posted a video of himself crashing his plane in Los Padres National Forest in November 2021, has been ordered to surrender his private pilot certificate by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), following a report by the agency that claims Jacob intentionally crashed the plane and later removed and disposed of the wreckage.

“On November 24, you demonstrated a lack of care, judgment, and responsibility by choosing to jump out of an aircraft solely so you could record footage of the crash,” read an emergency order of revocation from the FAA, sent to Jacob on April 11, 2022. “Your egregious and intentional actions on these dates indicate that you presently lack the degree of care, judgment, and responsibility required of a certificate holder.”

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Jacob, who is also a former Olympic snowboarder, posted the video “I Crashed My Plane” on December 23, 2021, though the flight took place on November 24, 2021. In the video, he explains his plan to fly from Lompoc City Airport to Mammoth Lakes, to spread the ashes of his late friend Johnny Strange, who died in a 2015 BASE-jumping accident. The video has Jacob filming from the cockpit, as well as several cameras on the wings of the plane pointing toward the propeller. 

Shortly after his flight begins, Jacob says the engine has failed, and after a few seconds, he jumps out the pilot’s side door of the plane, selfie stick in hand, and films himself parachuting to the ground. In the video, Jacob says there was “no safe place to land” despite a large expanse of land being visible. The video has currently garnered more than 1.9 million views.

In the order of revocation letter, the organization states Jacob violated aviation regulations by operating an aircraft in a “careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.” Due to this violation, Jacob was ordered to surrender his private pilot certificate effective immediately, with a penalty of $1,644 for every day the certificate is not surrendered. Jacob will also be barred from reapplying for a certificate for one year. 

The letter presents several factors meant to prove Jacob purposefully crashed the plane. The reasoning includes Jacob wearing a parachute during the flight; attaching numerous cameras to the outside of the plane; making no attempt to restart the engine or contact Air Traffic Control when the engine allegedly failed; holding a selfie stick as he jumped out of the plane; claiming there was not a safe place to land despite there being “multiple areas within gliding range,” according to the FAA; and recovering and disposing of the wreckage after the fact. 

Jacob did not respond to the Independent’s request for comment, but he told the New York Times in January 2022 that “I’ll happily say I did not purposely crash my plane for views on YouTube.”

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