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Social media users are sharing videos of helicopter crashes and claiming it’s footage of the crash that killed NBA star Kobe Bryant and eight others. But they’re not.
This post, which has been viewed more than 774,000 times, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The footage shows what looks like a yellow, white and blue helicopter slowly descending before catching on something on the ground and spinning into a ball of flames.
But, as we’ve previously reported, Bryant’s private helicopter, which he, his daughter and others were flying in when it crashed in California, was black — not yellow, white and blue.
The video posted on YouTube doesn’t look like the images of the crash scene that have been posted by credible sources.
It was also foggy when the aircraft crashed, and this helicopter is clearly visible.
The Washington Post reported the helicopter went down in a remote hillside. Fog was dense enough that the Los Angeles Police Department grounded its helicopters, according to the paper. The YouTube video, meanwhile, doesn’t show fog.
Jerry Kocharian told the Los Angeles Times that he was drinking coffee outside when he heard a helicopter struggling overhead.
"It [didn’t] sound right and it was real low. I saw it falling and spluttering. But it was hard to make out, as it was so foggy," he said. According to the Times, the helicopter vanished into a cloud of fog and there was a boom.
We rate this video Pants on Fire.
YouTube, Real Kobe Bryant helicopter crash footage Calabasas, Jan. 26, 2020
PolitiFact, No, this video doesn’t show the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, Jan. 27, 2020
The Washington post, Kobe Bryant crash: NTSB investigators arrive in California, Jan. 27, 2020
NPR, 3 killed in Grand Canyon helicopter crash, Feb. 11, 2018
Pepperdine Graphic tweet, Jan. 26, 2020
Los Angeles Times, Legendary Laker and Newport resident Kobe Bryant, his daughter and OCC coach among 9 killed in helicopter crash, Jan. 27, 2020
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