The Federal Aviation Administration has revoked the pilot license of a YouTuber who posted a video of his light aircraft crashing while he parachuted to safety.
In a controversial video posted in December 2021 entitled “I crashed my plane”, which has received over 1.7 million views, ex-Olympic snowboarder Trevor Jacob parachutes from his single-engine aircraft after the engine stops, selfie stick in hand to capture it all. Several onboard cameras mounted to the vintage Taylorcraft aircraft show the moment it impacts a California mountainside.
In the video, Jacob seemingly made no attempt to restart the engine or find somewhere to land before bailing out. Pilots receive training in how to handle engine failures in single-engine aircraft, including lowering the nose to achieve best glide speed and seek a suitable landing spot, such as a field, valley or road if no airport is within range. In the video, Jacob locates the wreckage after landing to retrieve his belongings and camera footage.
The video immediately drew disbelieving comments from aviation enthusiasts and pilots as to the circumstances, including the fact that Jacob, who claimed the plane had malfunctioned, was wearing a full parachute rig for a general aviation flight and that the door was open before the engine failed.
The FAA sent a letter in April 2022, stating that Jacob violated aviation regulations and operated the aircraft in a “careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another”. The FAA said Jacob “operated this flight purposely to cause N29508 to crash” and that he made no attempt to “follow any emergency procedures”.
The letter was first reported by the New York Times on April 20, 2022. In the letter, which the FAA provided to AeroTime, the FAA points out telling details, including the fact that Jacob was wearing a parachute and that the left side pilot door was open before the engine failed. The pilot also made no effort to contact air traffic control to declare an emergency, nor did he try to restart the engine or look for somewhere to land, even though options were available.
“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 letter states. “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.”
You can find one video discussing the plane crash here from aviation YouTuber and pilot Mentour Pilot: