STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Was a snow-covered jet frozen on an airport runway in Germany when it was meant to be headed to a "Dubai global warming conference"? No, that's not true: The plane was not scheduled to fly anywhere in the days before or after a massive snowstorm hit Munich, Germany. The jet apparently tipped over due to the weight of the snow cover.
The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on X, formerly known as Twitter, on December 2, 2023. The post was responding to a reposted video (archived here) of a plane that was pointed upwards, seemingly weighed down by ice and snow. The caption of the post read:
Private jets in Munich on the way to Dubai global warming conference are literally frozen on the runway, which has turned into a glacier.
This is what the post looked like on the X platform at the time of writing:
(Source: X screenshot taken on Wed Dec 6 18:59:15 2023 UTC)
Based on the post made of the video, the original video was credited to a user named schoko131. Lead Stories searched for the video on the user's page but found that it was deleted and not archived in a manner that produced any relevant information about the original post.
A screenshot of the plane's tail shows the identification "OE-HUB." According to FlightAware, a website that provides real-time flight data, the Cessna Citation X jet operated by "Bairline Fluggesellschaft" with that tail number did not have a documented flight history for the past two weeks at the time of writing. Its last arrival was at Munich Airport on November 15, 2023, as shown in the screenshot from FlightAware below.
(Source: FlightAware screenshot taken on Wed Dec 6 22:21:49 PM 2023 UTC)
A spokesperson for Bairline told Lead Stories by email:
I can confirm that the aircraft belongs to our company.
However it was not planned on any flight to Dubai or another flight around this date of the issuance of the video. The aircraft was solely parked on the apron in Munich due to no hangar capacity.
Lead Stories also reached out to the Munich Airport for more information about the aircraft and its travel history. On December 7, 2023, Florian Steuer, who works in media relations for the Munich Airport, sent us an email saying:
We can confirm that there was an incident with a parked aircraft late on Friday evening - the heavy snow that had accumulated in the tail area caused the aircraft to right itself. The fire department put the plane back on its wheels and stabilized it.
Heavy snowfall can cause a plane to fall back on its tail while in place. An example from 2019 occurred in Truckee, California, where another Cessna Citation X jet was laden with snow and was positioned nose-up (archived here). The Truckee Tahoe Airport posted a picture of the aircraft here (archived here).
2023-12-07T20:08:49Z 2023-12-07T20:08:49ZAdded statement from Munich Airport.
2023-12-07T15:25:45Z 2023-12-07T15:25:45ZAdded statement from the company that operated the aircraft.