On January 5th 2022, a Caspian Airline aircraft reportedly lost control of its main gear and was forced to land. However, just a few days after the incident, a video that captured a brief moment of passengers exiting the safely landed plane is now a puppet for fake news purveyors. The clip has now been doctored and is being recirculated as a recent event to push a false narrative.
On Monday January 10th, DUBAWA caught sight of a video circulating on WhatsApp without a caption. The video shows an aeroplane puffing out smoke as it struggles to land on the runway of an unidentified airport. The plane, which has ‘Garuda Indonesia’ boldly written on both sides, appears to be attempting an emergency landing. Yet it didn’t end there. The second part of the video, an insinuated continuation of the first one, shows people sliding out of the plane through the emergency exit, suggesting the wriggling plane has stopped and its passengers exiting.
However, towards the end of the video, DUBAWA noticed a rapid drop in quality of picture (RedFlag 1) and also suspected a change in the environment. While the scene showing the struggling plane appears to have an absolutely green lawn on both sides of the runway, the scene showing the extraction point appears to have taken place in a sandy environment (RedFlag 2). An obvious suspicion that warrants a fact check.
Unearthing the claim’s virality
A keyword search was conducted to establish virality and to also compare narratives circulating with the video on other platforms. This search surfaced on several YouTube videos with headlines similar to “Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 crash landing in Iran.”
While on twitter, the video also trended, enticing several users on the platform to share and re-share the claim alongside the related narrative.
Demystifying the plot’s point
An analysis of the video frames on InVid video verification tool showed the viral video was, in reality, a combination of two distinct videos, merged together to form a bogus narrative.
The first part of the video, which depicts a plane struggling and wriggling to land on the runway, was artificially created and shared on YouTube back in 2020, as part of a video flight simulation. The user, ‘Bopbibun,’ who apparently created and shared the video on his/her YouTube channel, even attached a disclaimer to the video, saying: “Important:
This is only in the flight simulation. This situation is not real!
Everything in this video doesn’t happen in real life, because this situation is just a challenge for me to try in the flight simulation.
If you like the video, please comment-like-share-and subscribe.”
On his YouTube profile, the user also plainly establishes that:
“For those who don’t know, this video is made from x-plane 11. X-plane 11 is the flight simulator, so of course this situation doesn’t happen in real life. The plane taxi to the runway from Pane Field airport. It takes off and lands at the same runway. I am still practicing on my landing still. If you like this video, please like and share. Cheer!!!”
In fact, other similar videos, such as the acclaimed version, were also found on the user’s YouTube profile video archive.
The second part of the video
While the first part of the video clip was proved to have been artificially created, the second part of the video portraying passengers sliding from a plane is actually real footage. In fact, it was taken after a Caspian airline’s main gear collapsed while trying to land at Isfahan Airport in Iran, on 5th of January 2022.
Apparently, the incident was prominent as some news reports were disseminated about the accident:
“A Caspian Airlines Boeing 737-400, registration EP-CAP performing flight RV-6904 from Mashad to Isfahan (Iran) with 117 passengers and 9 crew, landed on Isfahan’s runway 25R at 17:07L (13:37Z) but suffered the collapse of the left hand main gear almost immediately after touch down…” Aeroinside.com reports.
Even more, some evidence taken from the acclaimed footage showed the two planes from the first and second parts of the video were not the same. While the artificially created video had “Garuda Indonesia” boldly written on both sides of the plane, the plane depicted in the second half of the clip had no such inscription on it.
Shreds of evidence gathered depict the acclaimed video is fake and was doctored, then merged to exaggerate the Caspian airline incident. The first part of the video that depicts a wriggling plane struggling to land was artificially created and only married to the actual footage of the Caspian airline incident to paint a bogus narrative.