FAA to revoke YouTuber’s pilot license after plane crash video

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has demanded YouTuber Trevor Jacob surrender his pilot’s license after posting a video titled “I Crashed My Plane,” of a crash the agency says was staged, as the reports The New York Times. In the video (which you can watch here), Jacob’s plane appears to have an engine malfunction, and he jumps out of it while wearing a parachute. In a letter, the regulator told Jacob he “shown a lack of care, judgment and responsibility in choosing to jump from an aircraft” and said Jacob “operated this flight to cause deliberately [the plane] to crash.”

Jacob posted the video in December, and it already has over 1.7 million views. Like several members of the aviation community, the FAA expressed doubts about Jacob’s choices during the incident. The letter disputes that he did not try to restart the engine properly, contact air traffic control for assistance, or look for another place to land despite the many options available. Basically, the agency says, he didn’t try to save the plane before jumping out.

Pictured: Non-standard aircraft engine failure procedure.
Image: Trevor Jacob

The dispatcher also appears to question the veracity of the engine failure, noting that Jacob appeared to open the door even before the propeller began to slow in the video. Like Flying the magazine points out, Jacob does not usually wear a parachute in flight, although he claims to do so in the “I Crashed My Plane” video. That said, it does not appear that the aircraft was in very good condition. Jalopnik cites reports that it was in “a state of disrepair and in need of major maintenance” and that Jacob tried to fix it himself. The plane is, or was, a vintage 1940 model, so it’s entirely possible that it had engine trouble.

Jacob has been into extreme sports for a long time, according to his Team USA bio page. (He snowboarded at the 2014 Winter Olympics.) He’s also no stranger to YouTube fame. His channel has a video from 2013 titled “Train Horn Prank. Arrested?” with nearly 7 million views. He also has several videos showing him parachuting.

According to TimeWhen asked about the letter from the FAA – which tells him to surrender his pilot’s license or face daily fines of over $1,000, Jacob seemed surprised. He replied, “Where did you get this information” and then allegedly stopped responding to emails.

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