The pilot and professional YouTuber got into trouble after crashing his plane in the California mountains last month, only to be accused of doing the whole thing on purpose to grab a few page views. He is now being investigated by the feds.
Trevor Jacob, a former Olympic snowboarder who became a social media star, recently crashed a Taylorcraft BL64 at the foot of Los Padres National Forest, filming the entire episode as it happened, Driving reports. Jacob, who has been filming YouTube videos for some time, claimed he was on his way from Lompoc City Airport in Santa Barbara to Mammoth Lakes (snowboarding town in Sierra Nevada) when the plane stopped at random, forcing him to leave. When he escaped, Jacob threw the plane significantly upside down, forcing it into a vertical trajectory into the wilderness, before jumping out with a parachute.
A 17-minute video posted on Jacob’s YouTube page titled “I crashed my plane”Shows this whole escapade: from the sunny take-off, to Jacob’s realization that the plane was in trouble, to his jumping off the plane’s door and releasing his parachute.
With the help of selfies cameras mounted on a stick and in a plane, we see Jacob crashing through the air as the doomed plane descends lower and lower – finally descending to the side of the hill. Jacob is then forced to walk through the wilderness until someone picks him up in a truck (Jacob claims this man was a “farmer”). The video attracted Jacob more than And million page views.
However, it didn’t take long for the internet to become suspicious according to Jacob’s story, and YouTube has since become full of videos criticizing the pilot’s story. Aviation experts questioned many of Jacob’s decisions during the flight. For example, the need to jump off a plane seemed suspicious to one expert, who offered that the vehicle could be driven for another 15 to 20 miles. In the video, Jacob also claims to “always” fly with a parachute; this claim was subsequently refuted by a number of viewers who noticed that he did not actually carry a parachute in most of his videos and that this was not particularly common for pilots of small planes because there were usually not enough rooms.
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To make matters more interesting, the Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating the crash, reports aviation website AVweb. “The FAA is investigating this event,” the agency said Monday, declining to comment further. While there isn’t much to do, a thorough investigation by federal officials should be able to determine if the plane broke down or was deliberately sabotaged in some way.
Ultimately, Jacob is either an innocent man who has incredibly survived the wilderness a plane crash and is now being unjustly surrounded by a paranoid YouTube mob, or he’with influence on social media doing what influencers do: pfull of sensationalist stunts to attract attention and watch the gaze descend.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Jacob isn’t actually the first influential pilot to be accused of falsifying a plane crash. Few years ago, David Lesh, a former professional skier and owner of a sportswear company in Colorado, was piloting a plane near Half Moon unnorthern California when the engine allegedly stopped, forcing it to make an emergency landing on the water. The fact that the whole thing was filmed later uploaded to YouTube led many to believe that Lesh had staged the accident gather attention for his work.