Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Real Plane Crash or Emergency -- It's Video Game Footage

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Real Plane Crash or Emergency -- It's Video Game Footage Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Real Plane Crash or Emergency -- It's Video Game Footage Video Game

Does this video accurately show a plane crash or emergency? And might it even be live ? No, that's not true: This footage is not real. It is a computer-generated video from a popular video game named Grand Theft Auto V that is often used to generate long videos of airplane "emergencies", "crashes" or "emergency landings", sometimes with the purpose of keeping people watching for long stretches of time in order to boost the algorithmic popularity of certain pages or channels on social media.

An example of such a video appeared on Facebook on January 17, 2023 in a post captioned:

Nepal plane crash Emergency Landing in Indian Airports 2023

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

gta 5 plane crash image .png

(Image source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jan 17 16:54:51 2023 UTC)

This eight-hour, 10-second video does not display actual footage of an airplane making a dangerous emergency landing or crashing. It is clearly fake as it depicts a computer-generated scene, showing the plane maneuvering in impossible ways without damaging the plane or the surrounding area. At no point in the video does the aircraft actually land or crash.

Above the caption, it is stated that the Facebook account owner, Hugo Holden22, was "streaming Grand Theft Auto V." The Grand Theft Auto V YouTube account's description page says:

Grand Theft Auto V is a 2013 action-adventure game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It is the seventh main entry in the Grand Theft Auto series, following 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV, and the fifteenth instalment overall. Set within the fictional state of San Andreas, based on Southern California, the single-player story follows three protagonists--retired bank robber Michael De Santa, street gangster Franklin Clinton, and drug dealer and gunrunner Trevor Philips--and their attempts to commit heists while under pressure from a corrupt government agency and powerful criminals. The open world design lets players freely roam San Andreas' open countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos, based on Los Angeles.

This video game also allows players to fly planes that appear to be on fire realistically, have smoking engines and crash.

An example of this was similarly depicted in a March 2, 2020, YouTube video titled "GTA V: FlyUS Jet Best Extreme Longer Crash and Fail Compilation." It displayed the same animated "flyUS" plane, which appeared to be smoking at one point in the video.

Hugo Holden22's Facebook account transparency page states that they are a "Gaming video creator."

hugo about screenshot .png

(Image source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jan 17 17:30:51 2023 UTC)

A January 17, 2023, Google News search using the keywords "Nepal plane crash Emergency Landing in Indian Airports 2023" produced no results that would indicate any emergency landings actually took place in India the relevant time period. There was an actual plane crash in Nepal in January 2023 but it is unrelated to this footage.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about flight simulation videos can be found here.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  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

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion