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YouTuber who lost pilot’s license after crashing his plane says stunt was ‘an adventure gone south’

A YouTube daredevil who lost his pilot’s license after crashing a plane on purpose to boost his viewing figures has described the stunt as ‘an adventure gone south’.

Trevor Jacob, a former Olympic snowboarder, asked his followers in his latest video to purchase merchandise from his online shop to help him pay his legal fees.

The video titled ‘The FAA took my pilots license’ was posted to Jacob’s YouTube channel on Sunday, four months after the original video ‘I crashed my plane’ landed him in hot water with the Federal Aviation Administration.

‘I didn’t think that just posting a video of an adventure gone south would ruffle so many feathers,’ Jacob told his subscribers. His latest video showed him as a passenger in a friend’s plane on his way to return his license, he said.

‘We live in a pretty rural area so we’re just heading into town to hit the postal office,’ he told the camera. ‘I’ve got to send in my pilot’s license. Unfortunately it got revoked though. Just putting it in the box here, we’ll be landing and sending that off.’

Asked whether he was done with flying, he replied: ‘I don’t know man… The aviation community has been pretty tough on me, so I’m thinking about quitting altogether and giving up. Just because I’m hated,’ he added while laughing.

Jacob was then shown sitting behind a microphone waring a white T-shirt with the words ‘Feeling adventurous always’ emblazoned on the front – which has the same acronym as the FAA. He later appeared wearing another T-shirt in the same style that read ‘Always wear your parachute’.

Both T-shirts, he said, were available to purchase on his online store.

Trevor Jacob, a former Olympic snowboarder, asked his followers in his latest video (pictured as a passenger in a friend’s plane while inspecting his now-revoked pilot’s license) to purchase merchandise from his online shop to help him pay his legal fees

Jacob was shown sitting behind a microphone waring a white T-shirt with the words 'Feeling adventurous always' emblazoned on the front. He then reacted to various news features about his crash, in which his earlier video was shown

Jacob was shown sitting behind a microphone waring a white T-shirt with the words ‘Feeling adventurous always’ emblazoned on the front. He then reacted to various news features about his crash, in which his earlier video was shown

Jacob lost his private pilot's certificate after the Federal Aviation Administration determined he purposely crashed an aircraft into the California hillside last November. Jacob is pictured taking off off from Lompoc City Airport

Jacob lost his private pilot’s certificate after the Federal Aviation Administration determined he purposely crashed an aircraft into the California hillside last November. Jacob is pictured taking off off from Lompoc City Airport

The FAA launched an investigation into Jacob's crash after the social media personality posted a 13-minute-long video of himself parachuting out of a small plane that he alleged had malfunctioned

The FAA launched an investigation into Jacob’s crash after the social media personality posted a 13-minute-long video of himself parachuting out of a small plane that he alleged had malfunctioned

Jacob said he was selling shirt on his online store in order to fund his legal fees (pictured)

Jacob said he was selling shirt on his online store in order to fund his legal fees (pictured)

The FAA launched an investigation into Jacob’s November 2021 crash after the social media personality posted a 13-minute-long video of himself parachuting out of a small plane that he alleged had malfunctioned, with cameras mounted on the wings.

The agency has determined that Jacob ‘violated federal aviation regulations’ and operated the single-engine aircraft in a ‘careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another,’ according to The New York Times, which reviewed an April 11 letter sent to the athlete from the FAA.

Officials immediately revoked his private pilot certificate, ending his permission to operate any aircraft in the United States.

Jacob, 28, who competed in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, was shown in his latest video reacting to various news features about his crash, in which his earlier video was shown. The news clips also heard from aviation experts condemning Jacob’s actions, and praising the FAA for revoking his license. 

He told his viewers: ‘So I got a statement in the mail that said “we’re ordering an emergency order” of you know “having to give up your pilot’s license”.

‘I got the letter in the mail and then all of a sudden New York Times posted an article. And that’s happening, like, right now. But then as soon as one person posts it, everyone else is going to jump on it. So I’ve been reached out to by like ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox News,’ he said.

‘I’m on an FBI terrorist watch list now. That’s kind of an interesting thing,’ he added, before telling his viewers that they can purchase his merchandise. 

The end of the new video showed him putting his pilot’s license in an envelope and putting it into a mailbox, while wearing the one of his T-shirts.

‘If you want to get an “always wear your parachute” shirt you can help me pay for attorney fees,’ he told the camera.

Jacob uploaded the now-infamous video, titled, ‘I Crashed My Plane,’ on his popular YouTube channel last Christmas Eve.

About 20 minutes into the flight, the TaylorcraftBL64 appears to lose power and the engine stalls over a mountainous, rugged terrain

About 20 minutes into the flight, the TaylorcraftBL64 appears to lose power and the engine stalls over a mountainous, rugged terrain 

Jacob appears to struggling with the door as he attempts to exit the plane mid-flight

Jacob appears to struggling with the door as he attempts to exit the plane mid-flight 

The edited 13-minute recording – which follows Jacob’s brief flight, parachute jump and hours-long trek through a rugged terrain – instantly blew up, gaining more than 1.7 million views and fueling speculation the daredevil athlete had staged the November 2021 crash to get more ‘clicks’ and go viral.

On the first-ever episode of his podcast Trevor Jacob Adventured, the snowboarder briefly addressed the crash.

‘I can’t talk about it, per my attorney,’ Jacob said. ‘But the truth of that situation will come out with time and I’ll leave that at that.’

The FAA cannot prosecute Jacob over the incident, as the authority only has the ability to revoke or suspend certificates and issue fines. The agency did order Jacob to surrender his certificate and warned he would face ‘further legal enforcement action’ if he refused to do so, including a daily penalty of $1,644.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General could prosecute Jacob if investigators determined he committed a criminal offense. The department told the Times it could ‘neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation’ into Jacob’s November 24 flight. 

With a parachute strapped to his back, the adventurer leaps head first out of the plane, leaving it hanging in the air

With a parachute strapped to his back, the adventurer leaps head first out of the plane, leaving it hanging in the air 

Video shows Jacob landing in a thicket and complaining of cuts and scrapes

Video shows Jacob landing in a thicket and complaining of cuts and scrapes 

‘I Crashed My Plane’ shows Jacob piloting his then-recently purchased Taylocraft BL64 single-engine plane from Lompoc City Airport in Santa Barbara, California on November 24.

Jacob said in the video that his plan was to travel to Mammoth Lakes to spread the ashes of his late friend, adventurer Johnny Strange, who died in a BASE jumping accident in 2015. 

In the first few minutes of footage, the flight appears to be going smoothly, with Jacob smiling into one of the many cameras aboard his plane and giving a thumbs up. 

But about 20 minutes into the flight, the Taylorcraft plane’s sole engine appears to lose power and stall, and its propeller stops rotating. 

Jacob lets out a string of expletives as he struggles to open the door. Eventually, he manages to scramble out of the plane and open his parachute. 

This image, shot by one of the many cameras mounted on the plane, captures the aircraft moments before is smashes nose-first into a hill

This image, shot by one of the many cameras mounted on the plane, captures the aircraft moments before is smashes nose-first into a hill

The aircraft, circled in red, is seen resting in hills of the Los Padres National Forest

The aircraft, circled in red, is seen resting in hills of the Los Padres National Forest

His ditched aircraft hangs in the air before smashing nose-first into the hills of the Los Padres National Forest. The crash is captured from multiple angles by all the various cameras mounted on the aircraft. 

The former snowboarder successfully lands in some brush, appearing frustrated and complaining of scrapes in cuts, but is thankful for his lucky escape. 

‘I’m just so happy to be alive,’ he said, adding: ‘This is why I always fly with a parachute.’

Jacob then explains that his plane experienced ‘engine failure’ and he made the decision to exit mid-flight and let it crash because there was ‘no safe place to land.’ 

The rest of the video shows Jacob hiking to the site of the crash to view the wreckage, then wandering in the wilderness in gathering darkness until he runs into a farmer and asks for help. 

A few days after the crash, the daredevil reportedly returned to the airport and relayed to them the tale of his ill-fated plane. After he was informed that the incident would have to be reported to the FAA, Jacob allegedly chartered a helicopter and removed the wreckage of his Taylorcraft. 

The FAA, in a letter dated April 11, alleged that Jacob 'demonstrated a lack of care, judgment and responsibility by choosing to jump out of an aircraft solely so you could record the footage of the crash'. The athlete is pictured on November 24

The FAA, in a letter dated April 11, alleged that Jacob ‘demonstrated a lack of care, judgment and responsibility by choosing to jump out of an aircraft solely so you could record the footage of the crash’. The athlete is pictured on November 24

Aviation analyst John Nance, pictured on Good Morning America earlier this month, claims the FAA was correct to revoke Jacob's pilot certificate, alleging he acted as a danger to others and 'does not ever belong in the skies'

Aviation analyst John Nance, pictured on Good Morning America earlier this month, claims the FAA was correct to revoke Jacob’s pilot certificate, alleging he acted as a danger to others and ‘does not ever belong in the skies’

Almost instantly after he shared the video on December 24, Jacob was met with skepticism from viewers alleging he orchestrated the crash.

Some commenters claimed his wearing of a parachute onboard the aircraft was evidence of a preconceived stunt, an accusation the FAA agreed with in its letter.

The agency also pointed out several other key moments that seemingly supported the allegations that Jacob intentionally crashed the plane.

‘During this flight, you opened the left side pilot door before you claimed the engine had failed,’ the letter read.

The FAA accused the YouTuber of neglecting to contact air traffic control for emergency assistance and failing to try to restart the airplane’s engine. 

The letter noted how he never tried to find a place to land safely ‘even though there were multiple areas within gliding range in which you could have made a safe landing’ and stated after the crash he ‘recovered and then disposed of the wreckage’.

Jacob competed in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia (pictured)

Jacob competed in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia (pictured)

Jacob is also an accomplished skateboarder, surfer, motocross rider, BMX biker, snowmobiler and made numerous appearances on MTV's Nitro Circus. He is pictured in 2018

Jacob is also an accomplished skateboarder, surfer, motocross rider, BMX biker, snowmobiler and made numerous appearances on MTV’s Nitro Circus. He is pictured in 2018

In 2018, Jacob performed a stunt in which he skated off a roof and into a friend's swimming pool

The video of the stunt went viral online

In 2018, Jacob performed a stunt in which he skated off a roof and into a friend’s swimming pool. The video of the stunt went viral online 

‘You demonstrated a lack of care, judgment and responsibility by choosing to jump out of an aircraft solely so you could record the footage of the crash,’ the FAA letter read. ‘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.’

Aviation analyst John Nance, addressing the investigation on Good Morning America earlier this month, claims the FAA was correct to revoke Jacob’s pilot certificate, alleging he acted as a danger to others and ‘does not ever belong in the skies’.

The FAA did not only the right thing, if I have any criticism it’s they should have done it sooner,’ Nance argued. ‘There is no way that somebody with this level of brazen disrespect for aviation – and for the flying public in general and anybody that might be below – could pull a stunt like this and intentionally crash an airplane. ‘

‘This person does not ever belong in the skies,’ he added. ‘This was a very appropriate act by the FAA to tear up his pilot’s license permanently.’

Jacob, a native of California, has gained Internet fame by performing acts of derring-do. He is pictured skydiving with his mother in October 2021

Jacob, a native of California, has gained Internet fame by performing acts of derring-do. He is pictured skydiving with his mother in October 2021

The daredevil went paragliding in the nude in August 2020

The daredevil went paragliding in the nude in August 2020

Jacob, a native of California, has gained Internet fame by performing acts of derring-do, including jumping his snowboard over a moving train in 2011.

He competed in several snowboarding championships between 2012 and 2014, including the X Games, before securing a spot in the 2014 Winter Olympic games where he placed ninth in men’s snowboardcross.

Jacob is also an accomplished skateboarder, surfer, motocross rider, BMX biker, snowmobiler and made numerous appearances on MTV’s Nitro Circus, according to his Team USA biography.

The former Olympian has continued to stay in the spotlight by performing daredevil stunts and posting videos of them online. 

In 2018, Jacob made a splash on the internet when he skated off a friend’s roof on a skateboard and landed in a pool.

Jacob (right) was the youngest person to ever make the US Open halfpipe at age 13. He is pictured with pro-snowboarder Shaun White (left) at the event

Jacob (right) was the youngest person to ever make the US Open halfpipe at age 13. He is pictured with pro-snowboarder Shaun White (left) at the event

He skated with professional skateboarder Tony Hawk in 2019

He skated with professional skateboarder Tony Hawk in 2019

The athlete was also pictured with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in September 2020, however it is unclear under what circumstances they were meeting

The athlete was also pictured with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in September 2020, however it is unclear under what circumstances they were meeting

While not much is known about the 28-year-old’s personal life, he appears to have a strong relationship with his parents. 

He has posted several photographs to his Instagram account, showing how they have supported him throughout his career and even took his mother skydiving in October 2021.

The YouTube personality has also paid tribute to some of the sport world’s greats, including skateboarder Tony Hawk whom he skated with in 2019 and snowboarder Shaun White, whom he was pictured with at the US Open halfpipe when he was 13.

Jacob was the youngest person to ever make the US Open halfpipe.

The athlete was also pictured with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in September 2020, however it is unclear under what circumstances they were meeting. 



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