Trevor Jacob

Trevor Jacob And The Dumbest YouTube Scandal To Date



There have been multiple YouTube related scandals over the years and all of them are stupid. but the one I’m about to share with you is especially dumb. Staging an engine failure and crashing your plane on purpose for YouTube views? That’s something you don’t hear every day. This has been covered by multiple news outlets already but I wanted to go over the issue from my perspective as a pilot. If you’re wanting to find out more about what happened with Trevor Jacob, keep on readin’. The following article is a brief summary on what happened in regards to Trevor Jacob and the dumbest YouTube scandal to date.


*this article is a matter of opinion with the final authority in the case being the NTSB and the FAA*


What Trevor Claims Happened

On December 23, 2021, YouTuber Trevor Jacob posted a video titled “I Crashed My Plane”. In the video Trevor states that he is flying over the Sierra Nevada mountains in order to spread his best friend’s ashes. I recommend you watch the video before it gets taken down. After a couple minutes of flying, Trevor announces that he’s had an engine failure and within 15 seconds concludes that he has no safe place to land. Without any effort to make any radio calls or turn the aircraft around, Trevor decides his best course of action is to bail from the plane and safely land on the ground with his parachute. That alone is enough to make any pilot skeptical, but there are many more holes his story.


What (Probably) Actually Happened

The above paragraph already makes his story seem a bit fishy but there are lots of small details surrounding Trevor’s video that provide mountains (no pun intended) of evidence against his claims.

Red Flag No.1: Extremely Fast/No Emergency Procedures

As soon as Trevor says that he has an engine failure you can see him immediately open the door without running any procedures, making any radio calls, or pulling out any sort of checklist. Unless you are very low to the ground (he wasn’t) and are preparing for a power off landing (again, he wasn’t), I have never heard of any pilot that immediately opens the door after an engine failure. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Even if we ignore that he opened the door right away, he still didn’t go through any sort of emergency procedures. As a pilot, the first things you do in the event of an emergency are to aviate, navigate, and communicate. Trevor did none of that. It’s almost is if he was anticipating the “emergency”.

Red Flag No.2: “No Safe Place To Land”

Immediately after Trevor experiences his “engine failure”, he concludes that there is no safe place to land the plane. Even just from watching the video I can tell you that that statement could not be further from the truth. It’s obvious from the that Trevor made no attempt to locate a landing area. Furthermore, he was flying a 1940’s T-craft. Even if he had a spot the size of a small parking lot he could have put it down safely. At timestamp 5:08 a massive stretch of open land is clearly shown. There is no way any pilot that was actually looking for a landing area could have missed that. But again let’s give Trevor the benefit of the doubt. Even if he did manage to miss this large field, his T-craft could have very easily managed to land on one of the many river banks. Another thing to note is that Trevor had LOTS of altitude. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was at the aircraft’s service ceiling. He could have glided for miles looking for a good place to land. But no, that wouldn’t be as cool.. Its a shame such a nice aircraft was destroyed for views.

Red Flag No.3: Camera Angles

While not damning, it is something else that’s interesting to note. It’s definitely curious how Trevor managed to film basically every part of the aircraft but the cockpit. If I’m correct in assuming that Trevor intentionally shut down his engine, it’s easy to see why he wouldn’t want us to see his control inputs. As the plane flies towards to ground after he bails, one of the cameras on the plane catches the propeller continuing to spin smoothly, signaling an engine shutdown rather than a failure.

Red Flag No.4: His Parachute

Trevor states that he always flies his aircraft with a parachute for instances like this. The being said, he is not seen wearing a parachute in any of his other videos. If he really cared about wearing a parachute while flying he would be seen wearing it in most of his other videos. But I digress. Furthermore, the parachute he was wearing was a skydiving parachute and not a standard emergency chute. As he jumps from the plane Trevor conveniently holds on to his selfie stick to film his decent. I don’t know about you but if that were me, getting my crash on video would be the least of my concerns. I would be wanting to get on the ground as fast as possible.


Final Thoughts

All of that being said, there is lot’s of evidence to show that Trevor’s “accident” was indeed staged. If the NTSB concludes that it was in fact a real accident I will be extremely surprised. The fact that this accident was most likely staged is not the biggest issue. The real issue is that Trevor’s actions were extremely irresponsible and could have ended much, much worse. Trevor, if you’re reading this, you could have killed someone. Multiple people even. Intentionally crashing a plane into the Sierra Nevada mountains could have very easily started a forest fire, endangering the local wildlife and/or the people living in the area. Cases like this are what give GA pilots a bad rap. Personally I think actions this extreme deserve some amount of jail time. Like I said, this could have very easily killed someone. He even shows that there are farmers in the area in his video. But I digress. I also would like to point out that using your friend’s ashes to supplement your YouTube video is a pretty crappy thing to do. All of that to say, it’s extremely frustrating as a pilot to see incidents like this and I hope something like this never happens again. But unfortunately, I don’t think that will be the case. Only time will tell. I hope you all enjoyed today’s article and I’ll see you in the next one! Fly safe all 🙂



Check out my last article on the XB-70 here!


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6 thoughts on “Trevor Jacob And The Dumbest YouTube Scandal To Date

  1. Hi,

    This, to me, looks like an insurance scam.
    To stop the prop with that engine is hardly possible at all anyways with direct-drive engines (It would be of benefit with 3-blade props to stop the engine from turning as windmilling creates additional drag – Maule Pilots know what I am talking about). But even if it would be wishful at times if the prop stopped: You never ever give up best-glide (or go close to a stall) when having an engine problem. You already have a problem, you don’t need a second one.

    I was tought: Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. I really do believe he planned that stunt from the minute one.

    Aviate? Bailing out (without diagnosing the thing) is not it. Trying (at least it looks like he tried) to stall the plane is not how to aviate.

    Navigate? There weren’t ample places to land. But there were places he could have made it to.

    Communicate? He did plentiful – but just to his mike / camera (and not, as it seems and he should have done, to 121.500)

    1) He did NOT diagnose the problem (at least: none of diagnosing is on the footage – and he didn’t loose a lot of altitude while doing so). In addition… he was so high up… wasn’t he able to turn around to safer places? To prevent an 180° Turn after takeoff is a good thing. At 10’000ft (or more?) it is imperative at times to turn around. If I would be his flight instructor he would get a decent flogging the next time I’d see him – and I would not let him through the next check-ride until he demonstrated he’s able to land a plane.

    2) It seems he didn’t even look for a possible landing site
    3) He bailed out of the plane at an incredible altitude

    One thing that really puzzles me on top of that is that he takes his headset with him (why save that shitty thing?)

    And why did he try to land close to the airplane instead of going close to the street?
    In addition: that plane has a stall speed of 39 mph. I bet even if he landed the plane at the very place it landed itself in a controlled way he would have walked away – probably without much more than bruises.
    There is a saying to never ever leave a perfectly flying aircraft. His was at least still flying – so why take the risk and bail out at the point he did?

    In addition: There are some chances the plane could have bursted into flames on impact having full fuel (not always the case… but often enough). His plane didn’t burn. Did he go there on intent with low fuel tanks?

    There is a saying that “every landing you can walk away from” was a good landing.

    There is also the saying that there’s always an exception to every rule.

    If you’re asking me: THIS was the exception to the above rule.


    I am really looking forward reading that NTSB report…

    1. I was taught those same things by my instructors and like you, I am more than skeptical of the situation. I’m quite excited to read the NTSB report myself haha!

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