Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Boeing 737 Crash In China In March 2022 -- It's A Clip From Simulation Video Of 2019 Ethiopian Airlines Crash

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Boeing 737 Crash In China In March 2022 -- It's A Clip From Simulation Video Of 2019 Ethiopian Airlines Crash Simulated Clip

Does a video show the last moment recorded on the Boeing 737 that crashed in China? No, that's not true: The harrowing video is not from a March 21, 2022, crash in China but is from a simulation video of an Ethiopian Airlines crash in 2019. Also, the simulation video shows a different airline logo from the logo of the plane that crashed in China.

The claim appeared as a post published on Twitter on March 21, 2022, (archived here) which opened:

"A Boeing 737 just crashed in southern China. This was one of the last moment recorded on the plane. maybe the only moment. Viewers' discretion advised. #planecrash #Boeing #China https://t.co/YvTpSNSCV9"

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Mon Mar 21 17:11:53 2022 UTC)

The video posted on Twitter purports to be taken from inside an airplane with the wing visible as it crashes into the ground. People are heard screaming before the audio sounds like a crash and goes black.

It is not footage from the China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed into the mountains in the Guagnxi province on March 21, 2022, with132 people on board, which was reported on by the Washington Post and other major news organizations.

The video on Twitter is a 10-second clip of a 10:15 flight simulation video posted on YouTube in 2019 titled, "Ethiopia Plane Crash, Ethiopia Airlines B737 MAX Crashes After Takeoff, Addis Ababa Airport [XP11]." The segment falsely posted as being from the China crash is at 9:22 in the simulation video. The plane in the simulation video was a 737 Max series, not a 737-800 series, which the one that crashed in China was.

The description of the video on YouTube reads:


And it adds that the screaming people sound was edited into the simulation video:

At the time that the plane went down you can hear people onboard screaming, this sound is added while editing, so this is not implemented from the simulator.

The logo of China Eastern Airlines is a red-and-blue design on the tail and the wings of their planes. The airline's website changed its colors to black and white on March 21, 2022 as a symbol of respect following the crash. The color logo on their planes is seen from a Getty Image on CBS News here:

Screen Shot 2022-03-21 at 10.42.14 AM.png

(Source: CBS News screenshot taken on Mon Mar 21 17:43:37 2022 UTC)

The logo of Ethiopian Airlines is a green, yellow and red design as seen here:

Screen Shot 2022-03-21 at 10.37.56 AM.png

(Source: BBC screenshot taken on Mon Mar 21 17:38:11 2022 UTC)

A photo from the wreckage in China was released by Xinhua News Agency shows a piece of the plane with the China Eastern Airlines logo:

Screen Shot 2022-03-21 at 10.44.56 AM.png

(Source: CBS news screenshot taken on Mon Mar 21 17:46:03 2022 UTC)

  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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