Video supposedly shows an air race pilot successfully landing his plane after one wing snapped off during a mid air manoeuvre.
Almost certainly false – Probably part of a viral ad campaign for German clothing company killathrill
Subject: Fw: Wing breaks off stunt plane Best pilot EVER!!!
This video, supposedly depicting a skilled pilot’s miraculous landing after one wing snapped off his aircraft during a mid air stunt, is rapidly circulating via email and online. Some viewers apparently believe that the video is genuine footage of a real incident. However, many commentators suggest that all is not what it seems to be. The landing sequence, especially, looks decidedly suspect and most probably depicts a remote control plane rather than a full sized aircraft. The video is almost certainly the result of clever editing and manipulation with full sized and remote controlled aircraft.
The supposed pilot of the aircraft has been identified as one James Andersson. Andersson has his own website which discusses his alleged prowess as a pilot. The site even features an interview in which “Jimmy” talks about the lost wing landing incident. However, there is strong evidence to suggest that both the one winged landing video and and the pilot’s website are part of an elaborate advertising scheme launched by German fashion design company killathrill. The killathrill brand name features prominently on the stricken aircraft, supposedly as Andersson’s sponsor. The pilot also wears a killathrill jacket during his “interview” about the incident.
The WhoIs record for the domain, jamesandersson.com lists the registrant as one Sandra Thielecke and includes a killathrill.com email address. It seems more than a coincidence that Sandra Thielecke is in turn listed on the killathrill website as the company’s geschäftsführerin (female managing director). And, in spite of James Andersson’s supposedly long involvement with stunt flying and air races, there is seemingly no mention of his past deeds other than on his own website and in comments related to the video itself. The WhoIs record also reveals that the domain was registered only in September 2008.
Moreover, if genuine, such a compelling piece of footage would have almost certainly been prominently featured in TV news shows around the world. Instead, it apparently made it only to YouTube.
Thus, it seems very likely that the video and the related website are yet another clandestine advertising campaign aimed at raising the profile of a particular company, in this case, killathrill. Such “viral” advertising videos are a new trend in online marketing and have proved very successful for other companies. A Dutch travel company has used another “amazing” aircraft landing video as part of a viral advertising campaign. A video supposedly showing cell phones making popcorn was later revealed to be an ad for Bluetooth headsets. And a “scary” video of an elevator ghost turned out to be a promotion by a consultancy company in Singapore.
In time, killathrill, like other companies who have pulled such stunts, is likely to “own up” and further reap the benefits of its creations. Meanwhile, the video will continue to circulate, generating much intense debate as to its veracity and affording killathrill a great deal of free publicity.
What do you think? Is the video fake? If so, why do you think so? Feel free to add your opinions below:
Last updated: 5th October 2008
First published: 5th October 2008
By Brett M. Christensen