The Federal Aviation Administration has concluded its investigation involving a YouTuber who jumped out of a single-engine plane last year and found his actions egregious and lacking judgment, The New York Times reported.
Earlier this year, we had reported the strange case of former Olympic snowboarder Trevor Jacob, who had to jump out of his plane after its engine stopped and failed to restart. As luck would have it, not only was Jacob flying with a parachute but also a selfie stick and cameras onboard the aircraft that helped him capture the events leading to the crash as well as his jump from the plane.
Unsurprisingly, Jacob put the entire episode on YouTube, which helped him garner close to two million views, a major step up from the thousands of views he gets for his other videos.
Gaps in Jacob's tale
Since the time Jacob published his video, aviation experts, as well as his followers, have been skeptical about the turn of events. Many YouTube users even raised their concerns in the comments section, which was later turned off for the video.
Airport personnel told local media that the aircraft had been purchased by Jacob only a month before the accident and needed major maintenance. Jacob, who has also uploaded videos flying another airplane, was not seen with a parachute. Hence it raised doubts over why he chose to do so on that particular day.
A few days later, when Jacob went to the local airport to narrate his story, he was told that the matter had to be reported to the FAA, after which he hired a helicopter to move the wreckage to an undisclosed location.
What did the FAA find?
In a letter dated April 11, sent by the FAA to Jacob and accessed by NYT, the federal agency found his actions "reckless, endangering life or property of another" and in violation of the federal aviation guidelines.
FAA made special mention of Jacob's parachute, which signaled a preconceived stunt, and also noted that Jacob had opened the left side pilot door even before the engine had allegedly failed.
The FAA also noted that Jacob made no efforts to restart the engine and even failed to attempt landing the plane safely by gliding, even though there were multiple spots where he could have at least tried.
Disposing of the wreckage was considered another proof that Jacob intended to crash this aircraft solely to make a video out of it. It also indicates that he "lacks the degree of care, judgment, and responsibility required of a certificate holder."
Therefore, the F.A.A. revoked his private pilot's license and asked him to return it. If he fails to do it, he could face a civil penalty of $1,644 per day. The F.A.A. cannot prosecute Jacob for his actions, The New York Times reported.