A video of some helicopters flying over a lake is falsely going viral as Apache helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) flying over Lake Pangong in Ladakh. However, we found that these are actually Apache choppers belonging to the US military flying over a lake in Arizona and has no relation to India at all.
This claim comes in the aftermath of reports of the Indian Army increasing their presence and strength of troops in the Ladakh sector. Reports have claimed that weapons and equipment have also been increased in the area as tensions with China and India continue to simmer along the LAC.
Many people shared the video of two choppers flying low over a lake with blue waters, with a continuous range of hills on one side, claiming that it showed Apache helicopters of the Indian Air Force flying over the Pangong Lake in Ladakh.
The above video was viewed over 2,80,000 times at the time this story was published.
The same video was shared with the same claim in Hindi.
The video also found its way to Facebook with the same claim.
We also found several people sharing the video with this claim on YouTube, as well as by a verified news channel called Nation Next.
WHAT WE FOUND
On going through the comments on the tweet by the Twitter handle Maj Gen Brajesh Kr, we saw that someone had posted that the video was from Lake Havasu, Arizona.
Using this as a clue, we searched Instagram with the location tag Lake Havasu. On searching with this tag, we came across several videos taken at Lake Havasu and came across the same video, uploaded by an Instagram handle called flight_goonies.
While the location of the video was tagged Lake Havasu, we found that the hashtags said that the chopper was an AH-64 Apache. It also mentioned ‘Taco Tuesday’.
Using this as a clue and with the keywords ‘Lake Havasu Taco Tuesday race’, we searched Facebook and came across the same video, uploaded by a verified profile called Hangar 24 Craft Brewing, with the title ‘Apaches’.
The caption of the video said that the location of the video was Lake Havasu and many users also mentioned Lake Havasu in their comments.
One of the comments on this post was by a user called Ron Warren who said that it was one of the best flights of his life and also added more photos and videos of the same day.
On going through Warren’s Facebook profile, we found a photo of him in the uniform of the US Army, as well as a photo of him with an Apache AH-64.
Further, we found other videos of Lake Havasu on Facebook and Instagram which matched the visuals of the viral video - the same hills, and the same lake with water of the same colour.
*Chopper Chasedown: Two 40' Skaters on Lake Havasu* #powerboatnation #chopperchase #desertstorm2016 #skaterpowerboats
We also searched on YouTube with relevant keywords and found a video tagged Lake Havasu with similar visuals, which also stated that it showed Apache helicopters flying low over Lake Havasu.
Lastly, we checked photos of the Apache AH-64 helicopter used by the US Army, and found that they matched with those seen in the viral video.
We also corroborated photos of the AH-64 chopper from Boeing’s official website.
Moreover, choppers of the Indian Air Force have the Indian tricolour and the the IAF insignia, both of which are missing on the choppers seen in the viral video. Below are photos of Apaches owned by the Indian Air Force.
Therefore, it is clear that a video of Apache choppers belonging to the US Army flying over Lake Havasu, Arizona, is being falsely shared as IAF choppers over Ladakh’s Lake Pangong.
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