Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'Pilot Of Military Aircraft C-17' Failed Emergency Landing -- It's Digital Simulation

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'Pilot Of Military Aircraft C-17' Failed Emergency Landing -- It's Digital Simulation Simulation

Does this video show a failed emergency landing of a "military aircraft C-17," with the pilot getting fired as a result? No, that's not true: This footage is from a flight simulator, which can be used on personal computers. The footage is not real.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on March 1, 2022. The caption is:

Pilot Of Military Aircraft C-17 Got Fired After He Did This During Emergency Landing

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

Pilot Aircraft C-17 Landing Image.png

(Image source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Mar 8 14:21:51 2022 UTC)

The four-minute, 39-second video is not footage of an actual USAF C-17 aircraft attempting a dangerous emergency landing maneuver. It is clearly computer-generated footage from the perspective of unrealistic angles that displays multiple scenes, showing the plane smoking and not smoking at different points in the video.

A Google search using keywords, "Pilot Of Military Aircraft C-17 Got Fired After He Did This During Emergency Landing" produced this May 29, 2021, YouTube video titled, "Pilot Of Military Aircraft C-17 Got Fired After He Did This During Emergency Landing | X-Plane 11," which is the same video as the Facebook post. The description, below the title, is:

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.

The X-Plane 11 -- which came out in 2016 --- is described as "the world's most comprehensive and powerful flight simulator for personal computers, and it offers the most realistic flight model available."

No official lists such as the FAA Preliminary Accident and Incident Reports -- which does not mention the purported incident in the post -- have been located verifying what would be seen as a major incident. Additional Google searches using keywords, "2022 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Incident," "Recent Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Accident" and "2022 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Pilot Fired" produced no results.

Other Lead Stories fact checks related to the 2022 Russia-Ukraine conflict can be found here.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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