YouTuber and Olympian Trevor Jacob accused of crashing plane ‘for views’

YouTuber and Olympian Trevor Jacob accused of crashing plane ‘for views’

Olympian Trevor Jacob is in hot water and is being investigated after he was accused of leaving his plane to crash while skydiving to the ground.

YouTuber and Olympian Trevor Jacob could be in hot water after he was accused of crashing his single-engine plane “for views”.

Jacob, who represented the US at the 2014 Winter Olympics in snowboarding, took off from Lompoc Airport in the Santa Barbara region of California on November 24 last year.

Jacob was planning on spreading the ashes of his friend Johnny Strange, who died last year in a base jumping incident in Switzerland.

Wearing a parachute on takeoff, Jacob steered his plane – a 1940 Taylorcraft, a single-turboprop-engine aircraft – towards Mammoth Lakes in California.

The flight appeared to be going to plan, with Jacob giving a big thumbs-up to the GoPro mounted on his plane’s dashboard, before things started to go wrong.

In a video uploaded to YouTube a month after the crash, Jacob spliced footage from the GoPros attached to the outside of his plane, and the one inside the cockpit.

The propeller of his plane starts to falter and Jacob opens the door to look outside.

After a few seconds of Jacob appearing to worry, he eventually opens the door of his plane completely and, with his parachute attached to his back, jumps out of the aircraft.

Jacob films himself parachuting to the ground, in the remote Canadian wilderness, landing in a spiky bush in the process.

The video then shows the plane, with the GoPros still attached, gliding its way over the mountains before eventually smashing into the side of a cliff.

The plane crashed in Los Padres National Forest near Cuyama, California, a remote park in the Santa Barbara region of the state.

Jacob makes his way to the plane, retrieving what he can from the wreckage, and then proceeds to hike through the Californian bush for hours.

Night falls, with Jacob still not encountering any civilisation, however he finds a stream just as the sun is setting.

Hours later, he hears a car and runs to it for help, with the farmers in the ute assisting him.

In the video, Jacob tells the farmers he was forced to ditch the plane because of an apparent engine failure.

“I had an engine out in the mountains and there was nowhere to land. I always fly with a parachute,” he said.

“And I was like, ‘I can either jump right now or take the chance to land in this thing and I’m like ‘f**k that’, I’m out’. And then as soon as I open the canopy, and opened the parachute, the plane came back around and almost hit me.”

Jacob also took to Instagram to post a photo of the wreckage.

“I was recently flying a small plane over the mountains when I experienced engine failure. It was the most intense experience of my life,” he wrote.

“I did not think I would make it out alive. I promised myself I’d always fly that route with a parachute after my friend died on the same flight path, and it came in handy.”

Jacob later edited the Instagram caption to read simply, “crashed my plane … there’s a video about it on my YouTube channel”.

However, the video quickly drew scepticism from the aviation community, with a number of pilots reacting to the video and debunking his explanation.

The edited video also doesn’t show Jacob attempting to go through any engine failure checklists or looking for a potential place he could glide the plane to safety.

Sources at Lompoc Airport later told US media Jacob had purchased the aircraft when it was “in need of major maintenance”.

Sceptics also questioned why Jacob was flying with a big parachute strapped to his back with one pilot, who had knowledge of the 1940 Taylorcraft, saying the seat would’ve had to be modified to fit Jacob and his parachute.

The situation worsened for Jacob on Christmas Day last year when the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it was investigating the crash.

The FAA is yet to provide a further update on Jacob and said in a statement it “does not comment on individual investigations”.

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Author: Shirley