Fact Check: A 'VAXXED' Delta Pilot Did NOT Die In-Flight Requiring An Emergency Landing

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: A 'VAXXED' Delta Pilot Did NOT Die In-Flight Requiring An Emergency Landing Didn't Happen

Did a Delta pilot, who had recently received the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, die suddenly during a flight? Did this cause the plane to make an emergency landing at another unspecified airport sometime in the first 10 days of October 2021? No, that's not true -- a Delta Air Lines spokesperson says the claim is false, and the Federal Aviation Administration says it can find no evidence of such occurrences. This rumor was relayed by Jane Ruby on the Stew Peters Show. She said three different anonymous sources told her this happened. But there is no publicly available evidence to back up Ruby's unsubstantiated claims. There is no news reporting of what would be a noteworthy incident, and no crowdsourced accounts from air passengers who would have been on that diverted flight.

The rumor appeared in a video podcast published by Red Voice Media and re-uploaded on additional platforms such as Rumble and Bitchute on October 11, 2021. It is titled "Sources: VAXXED Delta Pilot DIES IN-FLIGHT, Emergency Landing Required" (archived here) which opened:

BREAKING: During an interview with Stew Peters, Dr Jane Ruby provided Breaking information, corroborated by multiple sources, that a Vaxxed Delta Airlines pilot died in flight within the last two weeks, an emergency landing was forced, and the company is covering it up!

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Sources: VAXXED Delta Pilot DIES IN-FLIGHT, Emergency Landing Required

At the start of the video, the 01:40 minute mark in, Jane Ruby tells a story she claims was corroborated by three separate "whistleblowers" who are purportedly directly related to Delta Air Lines. She said:

A pilot died in flight within the last, I'd say ten days according to these sources. The co-pilot told the flight attendant that the captain was speaking normally one moment, then said a few weird things and then died. The flight had to make an emergency landing. We are now learning this is an LAX based captain, and they did land the plane safely. I'm not sure what they told the passengers on board. The co-pilot also shared with the flight attendant who was one of the three whistleblowers that the pilot who died had told the co-pilot that he had just several days prior completed his second shot in this series.

Lead Stories reached out by email to Delta Air Lines on October 12, 2021, to find out if there was anything to these claims. Later in the day, Morgan Durrant, spokesperson for Delta Air Lines, responded with this statement:

Delta is aware of reports suggesting one of the airline's pilots passed away from vaccine complications while operating a flight, resulting in an emergency landing. All of these allegations are false. The pandemic has been an incredibly tragic time for many, and our hearts go out to the hundreds of thousands of families of those who have passed away from the horrific virus.

In the video, Peters and Ruby accuse the airline and the media of a "coverup" but provide no evidence that this happened. At the 4:50 minute mark in the video, Peters restates Ruby's claims for his audience:

Peters: A pilot is dead mid-flight and the media completely whitewashes the whole thing. There's nothing out here!
Delta Air Lines... you're saying is the airline where this pilot there was an emergency landing that was required right?

Ruby: Yes, he died in flight.

Peters: Delta Air Lines is keeping this from the media. You learned this from a whistleblower connected to Delta Air Lines and this has been corroborated you said now by multiple sources?

Working back from October 12, 2021 -- the date the Stew Peters video was published -- the 10-day time frame Ruby indicates would be sometime between October 1 and 11, 2021. There were no incidents during this time matching this situation, none were reported by news media.

Lead Stories also reached out by email to the Public Affairs office of the Federal Aviation Administration on October 12, 2021, to find out if there was a record in the timeframe of October 1 - 11, 2021, of a Delta Air Lines flight that was diverted to make an emergency landing due to the death of a pilot. Later that same day a FAA public affairs specialist replied:

The FAA has found no evidence such an event occurred.

Lead Stories has debunked several claims from the Stew Peters Show in the past.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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