By: Ankita Kulkarni
January 18 2023
A 2021 video of a Russian prototype military plane crash during a test flight in Moscow is falsely attributed to be the recent plane crash in Nepal.
A Yeti airline flight carrying 72 passengers and crew members from Kathmandu to the tourist town of Pokhara in Nepal crashed into a gorge on January 15, 2023. As of January 18, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) confirmed that it has recovered the bodies of 71 people who died in the crash, and rescue operations are underway to find the body of one survivor.
Following the incident, several misleading and unrelated videos have been circulating online claiming to show the visuals of the plane crash. Twitter user Nisha Saxena posted a 1:15-minute video where we can see a plane flying at low altitude with one of its wings on fire before it plummets to the ground. A thick, black smoke rises from the ground as the aircraft crashes. The caption to the video reads, "Tragic plane crash in #Pokhara is extremely shocking & painful. Deepest condolences to families of those who lost their lives in the tragic accident." The video has garnered 45.7k views on the platform.
However, the video is old, dates back to 2021 and is being shared with incorrect context.
After running a reverse image search through specific keywords, we found that the viral video is from 2021 and shows the Russian prototype Ilyushin Il-112V military transport aircraft crashing during a test flight near Moscow.
An identical video was posted on Twitter by a user named 'Air Safety #OTD by Francisco Cunha' on August 17, 2021. The caption read, "Prototype military Ilyushin IL-112 crashed today near Kubinka AFB (Russia), all 3 aboard die. Footage posted online shows what apparently is an engine fire taking place before the impact (sic)." One can see the similarities in both videos — for example, in both videos, a tower-like structure painted in red and white is visible at 0.6 seconds, and the two structures, which look like cell phone towers, can be seen at 0.35 seconds mark. The building visible right before the crash is similar and the geographical area captured in both videos is also alike.
Subsequently, a similar video shot from a slightly different angle was also posted on Twitter by India Today journalist Shiv Aroor on August 17, 2021. Additionally, in the viral video, we can hear a person talking in the background, which matches the video posted by the journalist in 2021.
A report on the incident was published by AP news on August 17, 2021, which noted that the plane was performing a test outside Moscow when it crashed in a forested area. The plane Il-112V was attempting a landing at the Kubinka airfield 45 kilometers west of Moscow.
71 out of 72 people onboard the Nepal aircraft were killed in the crash, and an investigation has been launched into the incident. Reuters reported that the black box of the Yeti airlines aircraft — which documents the activities of an aircraft — was recovered on January 16 and has been handed over to the CAAN.
A video of a Russian plane crashing outside Moscow in 2021 has been reshared with the claim that it is the Yeti Airlines flight crashing in Pokhara in 2023. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.