Plane crash for views?
Trevor Jacob, a former Olympic athlete turned YouTuber, was involved in an incident where he parachuted into the Nevada highlands after an alleged engine failure. However, he is currently under investigation on the suspicion that he intentionally crashed its 1940 single-engine Taylorcraft BL64 aircraft to gain publicity and views on social media.
The plane crash and Trevor’s claim
In the 17-minute video shot on November 24 and uploaded to YouTube a month after, Jacob claims he planned to fly over the mountains to Mammoth to spread the ashes of his friend, Johnny Strange, who died in a wingsuit accident in 2015. Jacob seemingly took off from Lompoc Airport, but the plane seemed to lose power and stopped mid-air, shortly into the trek.
Jacob, 28, parachutes out of the plane and glided down to safety moments after things appeared to go wrong, describing the incident as “the most incredible experience of his life.”
The incident occurred in the Los Padres National Forest, near Cuyama, California, about 50 miles north of Santa Barbara. With the video still recording, he makes his way to the crashed aircraft after landing in some scrub brush with a few wounds and scrapes.
He filmed himself seeing his plane’s wreckage and claimed he had no phone service or water. “I am exhausted. I’m quite thirsty. I’m in difficulty, I’m terrified, I’m cut all over the place,” said Jacob halfway through his trek. “I have no choice except to continue crawling through the bushes as I have been for the past five hours. I’m in pain, a lot of pain! I don’t wish anyone what I’m going through.” He went on a few more minutes from the video before finally running into other people.
While there are comments about the weather and a mention of his deceased friend, no details about the purported engine failure were provided. Video from three different angles showed him straining to open the door before plunging headfirst behind the strut without letting go of his selfie stick. There was also what appears to be a crash sequence captured by the cameras. However, the 17-minute video concludes with him climbing a mountain days later to launch a paraglider to spread his deceased friend’s ashes.
People’s opinion about the plane crash
Early in 2022, the video became a source of debate, with mixed reactions from commenters on YouTube and other social media platforms. Some experienced aviation YouTubers have speculated that the crash was a publicity stunt after noticing various anomalies with his flight.
While many people call for an inquiry into the video’s production, some see the explosion as staged. And most people have keenly analyzed the footage to back up their claims about its validity.
Trevor wrote on Instagram, “I didn’t think I’d make it out alive.” “After a dear friend died on the same flight path, I told myself I’d always fly that route with a parachute, and it came in handy. “I’m so glad I opted to leave my dog at home for this trip at the last minute.”
Almost every comment on Trevor’s Instagram post condemns the incident. Some called him a “con artist,” while others called him a “disgrace to aviators worldwide.”
“Everything smells fishy,” stated flight instructor Robert Perry. Jacob’s plane was allegedly in a “poor condition” before taking off, implying that the crash was staged. Perry was likewise sure that a safe landing was achievable. “From the looks of it, Jacob could have steered that plane 15 or 20 miles further and landed it on more flat terrain,” he explained.
“We never see inside of the cockpit,” remarked a popular YouTuber’moistcr1tikal’ during his dissection. “Not once do we observe anything in the cockpit while the engine appears to be malfunctioning.” Only the outside images are available. Many aspects of this video make me skeptical.”
In the video, “Jacob wasn’t seen trying to radio for help or revive his plane,” Trent Palmer said. “Jacob appeared to have unlatched his door before the engine was shown to have failed, and he didn’t appear to be looking for a landing spot.” Palmer and another YouTuber, Dan Millican, said, “general aviation pilots don’t generally fly wearing parachutes.” “Jacob was wearing a skydiving parachute,” Millican wrote, “which small aircraft pilots don’t generally wear because they can be too heavy and problematic.”
Palmer, a skilled drone pilot, examined the region’s aerial footage and concluded that Jacob could have made an emergency landing with a high possibility of success. “It was safer for Trevor to try to land than to use a parachute,” Millican agreed with Palmer, “since the aircraft would have continued to glide in the air for some time.”
“The video still enrages pilots,” said Mr. Loranger, an aviation lawyer. “No reasonable person will fly an airplane with the sole purpose of jumping out and letting the plane just fly off in the distance,” he explained. “It goes against everything that a pilot is supposed to stand for. The importance of safety cannot be overstated.”
As of writing this report, Jacob’s video, “I Crashed My Plane,” had attracted around 1.2 million views, but commenting on the video has been disabled. Jacob, who has 126,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, has been silent across social media since the backlash began to pile up. He is yet to respond to any email request for comment.
“People can believe whatever they choose,” Mr. Jacob said. “They have complete freedom to do so.”
The plane crash is being investigated
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are currently investigating the circumstances that surround the crash, as viewers and fans speculate that the incident was staged. “We are currently investigating the event and wouldn’t discuss the case as it was still ongoing,” the FAA agency said in a statement released on Monday.