A video, shared on social media on 8th December 2019, was claimed to show a Turkish F-16 dogfighting with a Greek Mirage 2000 fighter jet over the Aegean Sea in April 2018. The video, which was also used in a social media post by TGRT Haber, got close to 200 retweets and 1,200 likes.
Our F-16’s dogfight with a Greek Mirage 2000 over the Aegean Sea in April 2018 and the Greek fighter jet’s minute-by-minute escape.
However, the video is not from 2018. Moreover, it is made of two disparate videos edited together.
A Yandex reverse image search of a screenshot from the first few seconds of the video returns a FALCON BMS 4.33 flight simulator video shared on YouTube on 12th July 2017 while the second part is found to date back to as early as 2007.
Neither simulation screens nor actual flight screens for F-16, however, are similar to that of FALCON, as can be seen in a documentary by Turkish state television’s news channel, TRT Haber on how Turkish air force pilots are trained.
According to F16.net, a specialist website which keeps an archive of major F-16 accidents, there were no accidents or dogfights involving F-16’s and Mirage 2000’s in 2018. However, an AFP report on 13th April 2018 claimed that a Greek Air Force pilot died when his jet crashed in an encounter with a Turkish F-16 off the Aegean Sea, citing a statement by the Greek Ministry of Defense. The Greek officials’ statements were also covered by the New York Times.
Turkish officials denied having any role in the crash, TRT World and Anadolu Agency reported. Greek news platform Ptisidiastima also published an analysis concluding that the pilot’s death was not likely to have been caused by Turkish F-16’s.
Ellenika Hoaxes also confirmed to Teyit that the pilot’s cause of death could not be Turkey, that Greek state officials are still investigating the speculations around the case and that they also frequently encounter similar claims due to long-standing issues over the Aegean Sea.
YouTube, First part of the claim video, 12 July 2017
YouTube, FALCON BMS 4.33 simulation video, 1 November 2015
TRT News, How the F-16 pilots grow?, 7 August 2019
YouTube, F-16 cockpit images, 2 June 2016
YouTube, Second part of the claim video, 16 July 2007
News24, Officials say that Greek fighter pilot killed in crash after Turkish intercept mission, 13 April 2018
NY Times, Related news, 12 April 2018
Twitter, Hoax Eye tweet, 13 December 2019
Ellenika Hoaxes, Related Analysis, 26 February 2018
Twitter, Greece Former Ministry of Defence tweet, 12 April 2018
Ptisidiastima, News about incident in April 2018, 12 April 2019
Phone call with Ellenika Hoaxes, 17 December 2019 / 11.00