ATNS calls video of plane crash at OR Tambo “a ruse”

  • At the weekend a video went viral on social media seemingly showing two airplanes colliding at OR Tambo International Airport.
  • According to the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), the video has been manipulated.
  • ATNS confirmed that there, “was no runway incursion or risk of any occurring as shown by the video on social media.”

This weekend you have seen a video being spread on social media that seemingly shows air traffic controller footage of two planes colliding on the runway at OR Tambo International Airport.

Quick to put an end to any rumour mongering or concerns from South African citizens set to travel soon, the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) shared a statement on Sunday, 25th February, to dispel the viral video as a fabrication.

“The manipulated video showing what is known in aviation as a runway incursion was widely shared on social media over the weekend. The footage sparked a public outcry by showing a Lufthansa aircraft moving on the runway as if it was taking off when a South African Airways plane suddenly crossed its path at what seemed like close proximity on Friday evening,” the ATNS explained in a statement shared with Hypertext.

“However, an assessment of the video circulated on social media has revealed that the footage has a time lapse of approximately five minutes having passed in just the 38 seconds of the recording. ATNS can confirm that there was no runway incursion or risk of any occurring as shown by the video on social media. There was no aircraft taking off at the time as claimed in the video caption,” it added.

While the full motive behind the sharing the of the clip on social media is unclear, it is more than likely fuelled by the fact that several international flights departing OR Tambo on Friday evening were delayed due to a severe thunderstorm.

As such, whomever posted the video potentially wanted to use the meteorological event in a bid to add credence to the video and attempt to go viral on social media. That said, they were successful with the latter element, which is why the ATNS has been so quick to issue a statement.

“The pilots on both aircraft were informed and aware of the one taxing on the runaway for repositioning, and not take-off as claimed, while the other had right of way to cross their path. The manipulated footage is of an aircraft navigation process in an airport, which is an ordinary operational occurrence with no safety compromise,” the organisation continued.

“The motive of the social media distribution of the misleading video with malicious intent for both aviation companies and professionals responsible for aircraft, air traffic navigation and airport management is unknown. However, the distribution of such an alarming video is regrettable, a serious concern and senseless,” it concluded.

[Image – Photo by redcharlie on Unsplash]


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