Videos show Flydubai aircraft engine spewing out fire and emitting smoke after taking off from Kathmandu airport
Old and unrelated videos of a pilot in the cockpit and an animation video of Flydubai aircraft
An aircraft of Flydubai had caught fire shortly after take-off from the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Monday night (24 April). Though the aircraft continued its journey and landed safely in Dubai, the incident quickly became fodder for the peddlers of misinformation. In the wake of the incident, Newschecker came across two such videos claiming to show the Flydubai aircraft in flames after taking off from Kathmandu airport going viral on TikTok. Newschecker found the claims to be misleading.
Against this backdrop, TikTok user @tmg28233 posted a video of an aircraft emitting plumes of black and flames spewing out from the plane’s engine. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Today at 9:19pm an aircraft that took off from Kathmandu for Dubai caught fire, and there were175 people onboard.” The video is accompanied by an audio of panic-stricken people screaming “Oh my God.” The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.
The video posted on April 25 has garnered 22.9k likes, 527 users have shared it and 284 people have commented on it.
Another user @nawrajchaulagain7 posted a video showing a female pilot in the cockpit flying an aircraft. Text superimposed on the video reads, “See this daring lady who is confident that she can safely land the aircraft that caught fire.” A voice-over accompanying the video says, “An aircraft that took off from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu for Dubai has caught fire, the aircraft is Flydubai, whose call sign is FZ-576. It has been learnt that there were 49 Nepali and 120 foreign passengers on the aircraft, and the aircraft is preparing to make an emergency landing.” The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.
The video posted on April 25 has garnered 42k likes, 402 users have shared it and 1040 people have commented on it.
What happened to Flydubai Aircraft?
An aircraft of Flydubai had caught fire shortly after taking off from Kathmandu airport. The aircraft, however, landed at 12.11am (local time) at Dubai International Airport. Though the Flydubai blamed a bird strike for the engine fire, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) denied the claim based on the conversation between the aircraft’s captain and the air traffic controllers at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
Fact Check /Verification
To check the veracity of the claims made in the first viral video, we took a keyframe from the viral video and conducted a reverse image search. The search led us to a video published on a YouTube channel named runsame. The frames of the video posted on 7 August, 2017 exactly matched the viral video. On checking the seven years old video, we found that the seven years old video was created by using animation techniques. The YouTube channel has posted many simulation videos of air crash.
Our findings clearly showed that the viral clip was taken out of context to make a false claim.
Further, we took a keyframe from the second viral video and conducted a reverse image search on it. One of the search results pointed us to a video posted on an Instagram account worldofaviators. The video frames matched the viral video. Taking a clue from the video caption, we conducted a google search using the text used in the Instagram account. The search led us to a video posted on the YouTube channel named Just Planes. The video published on 9 February, 2020 depicted the flightdeck of the SUNWING Boeing 737-800 during a flight from Toronto to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. The video description noted that First officer Siobhan is the pilot flying the aircraft.
Then, we listened to the voice-over accompanying the video carefully and noticed that the voice sounded familiar to us. The voice pointed us to famous Nepali news anchor Sama Thapa, who currently works for AP1 Television. Then we checked the YouTube channel of the AP1 HD Television and found the 10pm news bulletin video of April 24 carrying a thumbnail image of Flydubari aircraft. So, we thoroughly listened to the news bulletin and found that the audio from 4.25-minute exactly matched the voice-over used in the viral video.
Our findings confirm that the second viral video showed a two-year old cockpit footage of a Boeing before landing in Puerto Plata, while the audio laid on top was from the breaking news of AP1 Television.
The viral videos, purporting to show the Flydubai aircraft that caught fire shortly after take-off from Kathmandu airport on April 24 show an old animation video and an unrelated cockpit footage and thus, are misleading.
Runsame/YouTube, 17 August, 2016
Official World of Aviators /Instagram,6 April, 2023
Just Planes /YouTube, 9 Feb, 2020
AP1 Television/YouTube, 24 April, 2023
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