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FAA revokes YouTuber's pilot certificate

'Careless and reckless' behavior cited

The FAA revoked the pilot certificate of Trevor Jacob, a former Olympic snowboard competitor turned YouTuber, who posted a viral video of himself parachuting out of a 1940 Taylorcraft that he claimed had malfunctioned.

The video Jacob posted online showing his bailout and the subsequent crash of the 1940 Taylorcraft has been viewed more than 500,000 times, and sparked criticism from pilots and others in the aviation community. The footage taken from multiple cameras, including a selfie stick, shows Jacob (who claims to have just experienced an “engine-out”) leaping out of the aircraft with his selfie stick in hand and parachuting to safety. The Taylorcraft crashed into the Los Padres National Forest in Southern California, and Jacob retrieved footage from cameras he had mounted on the aircraft

According to The New York Times, the FAA sent Jacob a letter on April 11 advising that the agency had determined that Jacob violated FAR 91.13 by operating his single-engine aircraft in a “careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.”

The newspaper obtained a copy of that April 11 letter, apparently before Jacob received his own copy, and elaborated on the FAA’s findings, including that, “Mr. Jacob made no attempt to contact air traffic control on the emergency frequency, did not try to restart the engine by increasing airflow over the propeller and failed to look for a place to safely land, ‘even though there were multiple areas within gliding range in which you could have made a safe landing.’ After the crash, the agency noted that Mr. Jacob also ‘recovered and then disposed of the wreckage…You demonstrated a lack of care, judgment and responsibility by choosing to jump out of an aircraft solely so you could record the footage of the crash…Your egregious and intentional actions on these dates indicate that you presently lack the degree of care, judgment and responsibility required of a certificate holder.’”

The FAA ordered Jacob to surrender his private pilot certificate, adding that failure to do so could result in “further legal enforcement action,” including a civil penalty of up to $1,644 for every day he does not comply.

Niki Britton

eMedia Content Producer
eMedia Content Producer Niki Britton joined AOPA in 2021. She is a private pilot who enjoys flying her 1969 Cessna 182 and taking aerial photographs.
Topics: Accident

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