Obstruction Charge Follows Intentional Plane Crash
Photo: Stock Image
29-year-old Lompoc resident Trevor Daniel Jacob is either an over-zealous social media “influencer,” an insanely courageous thrill seeker, or a foolish con artist. However he may have been defined prior to his March 11th federal indictment in the United States District Court in Los Angeles, on that date he became a convicted felon.
Jacob’s journey into a prison cell began on November 24, 2021 when, according to Assistant United States Attorney Mark A. Williams, he “mounted several video cameras” to a small single-engine airplane and took off from Lompoc City Airport with a flight plan indicating Mammoth Lakes, Ca. as his destination.
Instead, as Jacob’s plane flew above the Los Padres National Forest near Santa Maria, Jacob hurled himself out of the aircraft while recording his stunt on video and then parachuting to the ground. Now pilotless, the plane soon crashed into a steep ravine in the national forest.
Jacob then hiked to the crash site, recovered the video cameras he had mounted on it, and fled from the site. Four days later, he reported to the National Transportation Safety Board that his plane had lost power and that he didn’t know where the plane had crashed, which were falsehoods.
Two weeks later, flew a helicopter over the crash site and hoisted the plane’s wreckage off the ground to ultimately return it to a hangar at Lompoc airport where he disposed of it in various “trash bins at the airport and elsewhere.” With apparent disregard for the lie he had told to federal authorities, Jacob posted a video of his stunt on YouTube as part of a sponsored product promotion by way of fulfilling a commercial contract.
Jacob’s public distribution of the video record proved his undoing, and he was indicted on charges of obstructing a federal inestigation. His plea of guilty was accepted by the court on the day of his indictment; sentencing could see him grounded and in federal custody for a maximum sentence of 20 years.