The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether a YouTuber and former Olympic snowboarder purposely crashed his plane in order to go viral.
The FAA confirmed it opened an ongoing investigation last month in relation to a video in which Trevor Jacob, 28, parachuted from a crashed Taylorcraft BL64 plane in the hills of Los Padres National Forrest near Cuyama, California on November 24 in a statement obtained by AVWeb.com.
“The FAA is investigating this event,” the agency said via AVWeb.com. “The agency does not discuss open investigations.”
In the video entitled 'I Crashed My Plane,' Jacob makes the trip from the Lompoc City Airport in Santa Barbara to Mammoth Lakes as part of his plan to paraglide, snowboard and spread the ashes of his friend Johnny Strange in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, an area Jacob said Strange loved prior to his 2015 death in a wingsuit accident.
However, the plane's engine supposedly lost power, stalled and failed to restart during the flight, which led to the former Olympic snowboarder pointing the plane nose-down and parachuting out of the unoccupied aircraft before it crashed into a field.
"This is why I always freaking fly with a parachute," Jacob said after landing on the ground.
The 'I Crashed My Plane' video -- which was shared on December 23, 2021 -- has more than 1.6 million views as of Thursday (January 20) and caught the attention of the aviation sector of YouTube, with numerous critics accusing the incident of being staged in the comment section of the video, which has since been turned off.
Jacob represented the United States in the 2014 Winter Olympics, making it to the semi-final of the Men's snowboard cross, but finished behind teammate and eventual bronze medalist Alex Deibold during the qualifying round for the grand final.