Former Olympian Trevor Jacob Will Plead Guilty to Intentionally Crashing his Plane and Obstructing Evidence

Tate Sundberg | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Trevor Jacob Skydives from Plane in Staged Crash / Credit: Local3News

Former Olympian Trevor Jacob faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after agreeing to plead guilty to obstructing evidence after intentionally crashing his plane. 

Trevor Jacob is a 29-year-old ex-Olympic snowboarder, competing in the 2014 Sochi Games, turned pilot and viral YouTube sensation. In a publicity stunt intended for a wallet sponsor on November 24, 2021, Jacob flew a Taylorcraft BL-65 plane over the Santa Barbara National Forest, claimed the engine went out mid-flight with a bout of cursing, and recorded himself with a selfie stick parachuting to safety. 

Snowboarder Trevor Jacob in cockpit before parachuting
Trevor Jacob pictured moments before false engine failure / Credit: The US Sun.

Despite returning to the plane after the crash and agreeing to disclose the location to the investigating authorities, Jacob denied knowing the coordinates. Two days later, on November 26, Jacob informed the National Transportation Safety Board of the wreck, who declared an investigation on the same day and mandated he leave the remnants intact. Later that week, the Federal Aviation Administration declared an investigation of its own.

Meanwhile, Jacob returned to the crash and air-lifted the plane with a helicopter to where he could load it into his truck. From there, he brought the evidence to a hangar in Lompoc City Airport, according to The California Department of Justice, where he destroyed it piece by piece. 

Around a month after the tampered investigations began, Trevor Jacob posted on his YouTube account with 110k subscribers the video “I Crashed my Plane” on December 23, 2021, which has over 4 million views as of today. In the video, you can see the plane from several angles, both inside and outside the cabin, and hear him curse as the “engine fails,” then takes to skydiving as the best option for survival. Clips are then shown of him landing with a bunch of cuts, traversing poison oak, returning to the plane, and eventually being rescued after hiking several miles out of the mountains.

Stating the video looked very staged, the Federal Aviation Administration revoked his pilot’s license in April of 2022, though his initial defense was that given his lifestyle and career, he has grown accustomed to filming everything he does. Insufficient to escape further probing, Jacobs agreed to plead guilty to the felony charge of destruction and concealment to obstruct a federal investigation. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine.

Snowboarder Trevor Jacobs Sochi Russia Olympics
Trevor Jacob competing in the 2014 Sochi Olympics / Credit: US Ski and Snowboard.

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