YouTuber Trevor Jacob’s pilot license yanked for faking his own plane crash for content

  • The US Federal Aviation Administration made the decision after an investigation showed the YouTuber had cameras on the outside of the plane and didn’t call for help
  • The video titled ‘I Crashed My Plane’ racked up more than 2 million views on his channel
Tribune News Service |

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YouTuber Trevor Jacob has had his pilot license yanked by the US Federal Aviation Administration for faking a plane crash that he featured on his YouTube channel. Photo: YouTube/TrevorJacob

What looked like a daring escape from almost certain death turned out to be a hoax, and now YouTuber Trevor Jacob is under scrutiny – and without a pilot’s license – for deliberately crashing his plane last year for clicks.

The US Federal Aviation Administration yanked the 28-year-old’s license after an investigation showed that Jacob had attached numerous cameras to the outside of the plane pointed toward the propeller, then jumped out of the plane without calling for help, even as he claimed engine failure. While airborne, he deployed a selfie stick to record his descent, the FAA said.

The video drew about 2 million views to the channel, which had 134,000 subscribers.

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But before jumping, he donned a parachute and made no attempts to restart the engine, look for a landing spot or send out an emergency call to Traffic Control, the FAA said in a letter obtained by CBS News.

“You jumped out of (the plane) while holding a camera attached to a selfie stick and continued to record the aircraft during your descent,” the FAA said in its letter. “After the crash you recovered and then disposed of the wreckage.”

The FAA called Jacob “careless or reckless so as to endanger the life or property of another” and yanked his private pilot license, CBS News said.

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Jacob filmed the video, which he titled “I Crashed My Plane,” last November and posted it a month later. The video immediately sparked questions about its validity, according to the Santa Barbara Independent, a newspaper based in California, but he has denied doing it on purpose.

He could be seen opening the door and then leaping out, from various angles, while uttering expletives. He also filmed the plane’s descent as it sped away from him and plunged to Earth.

He landed in “the gnarliest freaking bushes,” he said on camera, noting a lack of phone service.

Jacob filmed the video, titled “I Crashed My Plane,” last November and posted it a month later. Photo: YouTube/TrevorJacob

“I’m just to happy to be alive,” he said, complaining about thirst and the heat. “I’m just taking in what just happened.”

The FAA sent him a letter on April 11 detailing exactly what had happened.

“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,” the Santa Barbara Independent reported, citing the FAA’s emergency order of revocation. “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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