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YouTuber Faces Months in Prison for Intentional Plane Crash

Having lived the life of a content creator myself, I can confirm that the realm of video production is incredibly cutthroat. Emerging creators face an uphill battle as everyone seems to have a YouTube channel and a dream of being on social media, and even those with established bases must continually generate fresh ideas to remain relevant so that a new face doesn’t take their place.

Navigating the fine line between innovation and going too far is challenging, especially in the quest for relevance. There can tend to be a rush for immediacy because if you’re not doing it, there’s a chance that someone else will. Unfortunately, this pursuit has resulted in a boatload of cringe-worthy and not well-thought-out content on the web, with some creators crossing into dangerous and illegal territory in the name of creating a captivating video.

In April 2022, headlines erupted around pilot Trevor Jacob, a former Olympic snowboarder seeking a viral spark for his YouTube channel. In a seemingly misguided attempt, the FAA deemed that he intentionally crashed his plane, seemingly for the sake of online attention.

While a well-executed stunt along these lines might garner the right form of attention, the problem arose when Jacob either neglected to delve into the legal implications or knowingly ignored them. This oversight landed him in hot water. After the intentional plane crash, someone instructed Jacob to preserve the wreckage, but he allegedly moved it to a hangar and destroyed it, claiming ignorance of the wreckage’s location.

Over a year and a half later, Jacob faces the consequences of these actions. On December 4, a federal court sentenced him to six months in prison for deliberately obstructing a federal investigation by destroying the wreckage. It remains uncertain whether he would have escaped consequences by leaving the wreckage in place, but opting for a cover-up may have led to more severe repercussions than accepting the original consequences.