Prosecutors say man who crashed plane as videotaped stunt in Santa Barbara County headed to prison
Investigators say Lompoc man claimed plane was in trouble, and bailed out leading to crash. They say he then destroyed the wreckage to block an investigation.
It was spectacular video of a man parachuting out of a small plane in trouble over the Los Padres National Forest. But, investigators determined the whole thing was faked as a publicity stunt. Now, that man is headed to prison.
In November of 2021, Trevor Daniel Jacob took off from Lompoc Airport in a single engine plane for what he claimed was a flight to Mammoth Lakes. About a half hour after takeoff, he radioed his engine failed, and he bailed out of the plane over the Los Padres National Forest.
He was uninjured, and the plane crashed into the forest. The whole thing was recorded with multiple cameras mounted on the plane, and with a selfie stick.
As required by law, he reported the crash to federal investigators. But, prosecutors say the Lompoc man lied about not knowing its location. They say he hired a helicopter to remove the debris, and then took it to Lompoc Airport where he destroyed it.
A month later, Jacob released the video, with the intent of making money through YouTube views. When confronted, federal investigators say Jacob admitted the crash was faked. He pled guilty to a charge of destruction of evidence, and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.
Jacob was sentenced to six months in federal prison.