Fact Check: Viral video of Cheetah helicopter crash in Arunachal Pradesh makes false claim
Two pilots died, on March 16, after the Indian Army Cheetah helicopter crashed in Arunachal Pradesh.
Two pilots died, on March 16, after the Indian Army Cheetah helicopter crashed in Arunachal Pradesh. Soon after, a video of a black tandem-rotor helicopter crashing into a river went viral on social media claiming to show the Cheetah helicopter that crashed on March 16.
Twitter users shared the video with the caption, “Army's Cheetah Helicopter Crash, search operation to find pilots.”
Our fact check team performed a reverse image search and found the same video on YouTube posted in August 2022. The title suggested the incident took place when a CH-47D Chinook helicopter crashed into the Salmon River in Idaho, USA. The same viral video has been used for reporting on the Idaho helicopter crash by several media organizations.
A future search led to finding that two pilots on board died following the crash while fighting an out-of-control forest fire in the area.
According to an article by East Idaho News, officials with the U.S., the forest service were already involved in rescue efforts and lifesaving measures in connection to the forest fire when they received a call. The aircraft contained two pilots who were extracted and transported to medical facilities. However, despite the life-saving measures in place, both the pilots succumbed to injuries.
This clearly indicates that an old video of a different crash is being falsely shared as the recent helicopter crash in Arunachal Pradesh.
Moreover, a comparison between the actual Indian Army’s Cheetah helicopter and the CH-47D Series Chinook helped identify that the two are indeed different helicopters.
While the team could not independently verify that the viral video is of a helicopter crash in Idaho, it is pretty evident that it is not of the Indian Army Cheetah helicopter crashing in Arunachal Pradesh on March 16.