Moment YouTuber deliberately crashes plane to get views as he faces 20 years in prison
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A YouTuber who deliberately crashed a plane to get views on the platform now faces 20 years behind bars.
Former Olympic snowboarder turned content creator Trevor Jacob intentionally piloted an aircraft into the hills of the Los Padres National Forest in California for nothing more than some internet clout.
The viral video - which has since amassed over three million views - could now land the 29-year-old up to two decades in federal prison over the reckless stunt.
He implied the dangerous plane crash - which happened just 35 minutes after takeoff - was an accident and, unsurprisingly, the clip went viral online.
In the video, Jacob launches himself out of a Taylorcraft BL64 plane with a parachute as various set-up cameras showed the aircraft plummeting into the Californian hills.
He claimed the single-engine aircraft lost power mid-flight and wasn't able to restart, leaving him no other option but to abandon ship - or plane - and parachute to safety.
The entire ordeal was caught on film, in which the YouTuber can be heard saying: "This is why I always fly with a parachute."
Jacob later returned to the crash site to recover the footage before he ran into a farmer who he claimed saved his life.
Aviation aficionados were quick to call the YouTuber out - picking apart inconsistencies with the video and claiming that the entire thing was a hoax.
Following the avalanche of allegations, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched an investigation and concluded that Jacob staged the crash in order to gain views.
However, since then, it's clear that Jacob is now facing far more serious repercussions for the stunt than just a revoked licence.
He will plead guilty for the crime of obstructing a federal investigation by cleaning up the site of the crash, according to US prosecutors.
In a plea agreement, Jacob finally confessed that he filmed the video as as part of a product sponsorship deal - revealing that it was, in fact, staged after all.
The skydiver agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation, according to a US justice department statement released on Thursday (11 May).
Jacob could now face up to 20 years in federal prison for his clout-chasing antics.
The US Attorney's Office for the Central District of California said: "[He] did not intend to reach his destination, but instead planned to eject from his aircraft during the flight and video himself parachuting to the ground and his airplane as it descended and crashed."
Jacob is expected to make his first court appearance in the next following weeks.