Pilot intentionally crashes his plane to get Youtube views, he's risking 20 years in prison
Three million views on YouTube could cost pilot Trevor Jacob, who intentionally crashed his plane in November 2021 and then posted the video on the platform to increase views, 20 years in prison. This episode, which caused a stir and outrage, highlighted the distorted way in which social media and the Internet can influence people's behaviour. In this article, we will analyse the episode that stirred public opinion and the legal consequences for the pilot.
In November 2021, Jacob had taken off in a small single-engine aircraft equipped with cameras from the Lompoc Airport in Southern California. After a 35-minute flight he had parachuted, again filming himself with a video camera, into the Los Padres National Forest, before the aircraft crashed. Once on the ground, the pilot had returned to the crash site and retrieved the footage, which was then posted on YouTube.
The authorities immediately launched an investigation to understand the cause of the crash. It was the publication of the video on YouTube that raised suspicions about the nature of the crash. In fact, the pilot had not attempted to call air traffic control, nor had he tried to restart the engine or look for a safe place to land. These behaviours raised doubts about the veracity of Jacob's account and led investigators to suspect that the pilot had deliberately caused the accident in order to post the video on YouTube
Jacob was arrested and is now on trial for obstructing federal investigations and causing a plane crash. If convicted on all charges he could face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The affair sparked great public outrage and raised the debate on the use of social media and digital platforms to gain visibility at any cost, even putting one's own life and the lives of others at risk.
The case of Trevor Jacob is a prime example of how the pursuit of success on social media can lead to extreme and dangerous behaviour. The publication of the video of the crash in which he lost his life was an irresponsible and illegal act that endangered not only the pilot but also many other people. The incident is a wake-up call on how we need to better regulate the use of digital platforms and social media to preserve human safety and dignity.