A YouTuber who parachuted out of a small airplane over California last year and claimed to have engine trouble intentionally crashed the aircraft so he could record it, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a letter.
The FAA revoked Trevor Jacob’s private pilot license in the April 11 letter, and accused him of purposefully staging an engine malfunction for the video.
In November, the YouTuber flew over Los Padres National Forest in California, and later posted a 12-minute-long video of the crash online. His video received over 1.7 million views.
‘You operated this flight to purposefully cause N29508 to crash,’ the FAA said in the letter.
In the letter, the agency called Jacob’s flight ‘careless or reckless so as to endanger the life or property of another,’ and said he must surrender his private pilot’s license immediately.
The agency also stated in the letter that Jacob did not attempt to contact air traffic control, did not try to restart the engine or look for a safe place to land the plane when ‘there were multiple areas within gliding range in which you could have made a safe landing,’ they wrote in the letter.
Soon after the video, titled was posted on Jacob’s YouTube channel, questions about whether the engine’s failure was intentional were raised in media reports and on aviation websites.
In the video, Jacob is alone flying the plane when the propeller appears to stop. Jacob makes a comment about an engine being out.
He can be seen opening the door and jumping out of the plane, recording himself falling with a parachute. Cameras attached to the empty plane show it crashing into the mountains.
Following earlier reports questioning the crash, in January Jacobs said in a statement to the New York Times that ‘I’ll happily say I did not purposefully crash my plane for views on YouTube.
Jacobs, a former Olympic athlete who competed for Team USA in snowboarding in the 2014 winter Olympics, took to YouTube often to showcase various adventures or athletic pursuits.
The FAA said if Jacob does not surrender his pilot’s license, he will be subject to a fine of $1,644 per day until it is surrendered.
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