Photos of Pre-Crash Helios Airplane

Status: Fake
Photos have circulated purporting to show the Helios Airways airplane that crashed on August 14, 2005 near Athens, as seen from the cockpit of a Lockheed Martin F-16 that intercepted it before the crash. According to Flight International, these photos are fake:

Flight International has identified the pictures as high-quality fakes as they show a Helios 737-800, rather than the -300 that crashed. Efforts to disguise this have been made by doctoring the registration to that of the crashed aircraft. The other key giveaways that the aircraft is an -800 rather than a -300, are the twin overwing exits, its fuselage length and trailing edge configuration.

The wikipedia entry about the crash also notes another hoax associated with the event:

News media widely reported that shortly before the crash a passenger sent a SMS transmission indicating that one of the flight crew had become blue in the face, or roughly translated as "The pilot is dead. Farewell, my cousin, here we're frozen." Police later arrested Nektarios-Sotirios Voutas, a 32 year-old private employee from Thessaloniki, who admitted that he had made up the story and given several interviews in order to get attention. Voutas was tried by a court of first instance on August 17, 2005 and received a suspended 6-month imprisonment sentence under a 42-month probation term. The hoax was significant because it seemed to contradict accepted knowledge of cabin-pressure emergencies, especially when combined with other early and erroneous reports.

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Posted on Wed Oct 12, 2005


It does look like a Greek F-16 in the picture, though. It has the right paint pattern, and the blue/white/blue rectangle on the tail. I wonder where the pictures were actually taken?

And aren't F-16s General Dynamics rather than Lockheed Martin?
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Oct 13, 2005  at  02:23 AM
I believe LM bought GD a few years ago.

To be honest, I cant think of any reason why these might not be authentic...
Posted by Andrew  on  Thu Oct 13, 2005  at  04:14 PM
you mean, other than the fact that it's the WRONG TYPE OF PLANE?
Posted by Steve  on  Mon Oct 17, 2005  at  02:05 PM
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