The FAA has pulled the certificate of a California pilot and ex-Olympian who it says intentionally abandoned a vintage Taylorcraft and shot video of it crashing as he parachuted to the ground. Trevor Jacob has been told to surrender his ticket immediately and that he can’t apply for another one for a year for the flight, which occurred Nov. 24, 2021. “Your flight … [was] careless or reckless so as to endanger life or property of another,” says the letter notifying him of the emergency revocation of the private certificate he’d held since 2018. As we reported earlier, Jacob posted a YouTube video of the flight on Dec. 24 and it was immediately flooded with comments poking holes its premise.
In the video, Jacob claims to be heading from southern California to Mammoth ski area to spread the ashes of a recently deceased friend. At high altitude over the Los Padres National Forest, the propeller stops and he jumps out of the little plane and one of several cameras attached to the aircraft captures the scene. What follows are shots of the descending aircraft and a purported account of his hike out of the wilderness to a rescue by some farm workers.
The FAA’s litany of findings supporting the revocation reads a lot like the comments that were posted to YouTube before they were shut off. The agency noted that Jacob popped the door before the engine stopped, didn’t issue any kind of distress call or contact ATC, didn’t try to restart the engine and didn’t try to land the aircraft on the numerous clear and flat areas that could be seen in the video. The FAA also claims Jacob recovered the cameras and then disposed of the wreck.