India celebrated its 73rd Republic Day last week with a grand event at Rajpath including cultural performances, an array of tableaux, and a grand fly-past of 75 aircraft of the Indian Air Force among others. Days later, social media users are sharing a video claiming to show “cameramen shooting air shows during” Republic Day celebrations. The video shows a photographer precariously stationed at an open door of a flying plane and photographing an air show. However, Newschecker has found out that the video was shot in Saudi Arabia in 2020.
Several Facebook users have shared the video claiming that it shows cameramen filming IAF’s aerial show from the recent Republic Day celebrations.
We found the same clip uploaded by a YouTube channel, ‘Talker.in’ with the title ‘73rd Republic Day – Awesome capture.’
This year the Republic Day celebrations were also a part of the central government’s grand ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ which is being observed to commemorate India’s 75th Independence Day. The country witnessed the largest flypast, comprising 75 aircraft and helicopters. It was also the first time the IAF had coordinated with Doordarshan to show cockpit videos during the fly past.
Fact Check/ Verification
Newschecker used InVid tool to break the viral video into several keyframes and conducted a Google reverse image search for each of it. We came across several reports from September, 2020 on how photos of military or fighter planes are taken mid-air.
According to a report by DIY Photography, dated September 25, 2020, “The Royal Saudi Air Force recently organized a photo shoot of its fighter airplanes. But what’s even more interesting is that there are also a few BTS videos. Saudi journalist Enad al-Otaibi recently tweeted them.”
The report added that the photo shoot took place during air show rehearsals during preparations for the 90th National Day of Saudi Arabia. We searched Enad al-Otaibi’s Twitter account and found that clips from the viral video were posted on September 22, 2020 with the caption ‘Eye of the Falcon documents The Falcons’ in Arabic.
We also found the video uploaded on AsiaNet Newsable’s YouTube Channel on September 26, 2020. The caption of the video reads, “The Royal Saudi Air Force recently organized a photoshoot of its fighter airplanes. But what’s even more interesting is that there are also a few BTS videos. Saudi journalist Enad al-Otaibi Tweeted a couple of amazing behind-the-scenes videos showing well-known Saudi aviation photographer Ahmed Hader directing and photographing fighter jets. “
A longer version of the video, around 1:35 minutes, was uploaded on a YouTube channel called AIRTUBE-X on December 14, 2020.
We also came across a report by News18, dated September 25, 2020,titled ‘Saudi Journo Shoots Spectacular Video of Aviation Photography, Leave Netizens Jealous’. The report stated that the video was first posted by a Saudi Arabian Journalist whose handle name is ENAD_Alotaibi. The photographer in the video is Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Hader and he is clicking pictures of Saudi Arabian Jets.
Newschecker also looked up ‘Saudi Arabia 90 National Day’ on Google and found a report by the Saudi Press Agency, dated September 23, 2020, with the title ‘Saudi Arabia Marks 90th National Day with Massive Air Show.’ The report stated, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia marked the 90th National Day with massive air show and fireworks. The Kingdom started today the celebrations of its 90the National Day with a massive air show, dazzling fireworks and concerts across the country.”
Viral video claiming to show “cameramen shooting air shows during” Republic Day celebrations was actually shot in Saudi Arabia in 2020. Hence, the claim is misleading.