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• As evidence, the video cites a plane crash that killed two people in Santee, Calif. The investigating agency told PolitiFact that the cause of the crash has not been established and that there is no evidence to support the video’s claims.
• The Federal Aviation Administration said that it has seen no evidence that medical complications from COVID-19 vaccines have caused any aviation accidents.
• The rate of aviation fatalities reached a relative low point during the period COVID-19 vaccines have been available to the public.
On Oct. 11, a small plane descended from the sky above Santee, Calif., a suburb outside San Diego, and crashed into two residential homes, leading to two deaths.
In the days that followed, some social media users seized on the news, claiming without evidence that the accident had been caused by a COVID-19 vaccine.
"Epidemic of plane crashes linked to vaccine-related strokes in pilots," reads text across an Oct. 17 video posted to Rumble.
The video 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 video’s claims are entirely baseless. The cause of the Santee crash has not yet been established, said a representative for the National Transportation Safety Board, the government agency investigating the accident.
The video hinges its claim on the fact that Dr. Sugata Das, the pilot of the crashed plane, was a cardiologist, who would have been "required to get the vaccine." However, it does not provide any proof of its assertions that a stroke resulting from a vaccine caused the accident.
In addition, the video’s claim that the COVID-19 vaccines have caused an "epidemic" of plane crashes is not based in fact, a spokesperson from the Federal Aviation Administration told PolitiFact.
"The FAA has seen no evidence of aircraft accidents or pilot incapacitations caused by pilots suffering medical complications associated with COVID-19 vaccines," FAA spokesperson Crystal Essiaw wrote in an email.
The rate of fatalities resulting from aviation accidents has actually been at a low point during the period COVID-19 vaccines have been available to the public.
According to FAA’s statistics, 0.96 aviation fatalities occurred every 100,000 flight hours in 2019, before the coronavirus began to spread in the U.S. In 2020, that rate decreased to 0.91. And in 2021, after the COVID-19 vaccines became available, it reached 0.74, its lowest point in at least the last six years.
A video posted to Rumble claimed that there is an "epidemic of plane crashes linked to vaccine-related strokes in pilots."
As evidence, the video cites a plane crash that killed two people in Santee, Calif. The National Transportation Safety Board told PolitiFact that the cause of the crash has not been established and that there is nothing to support the video’s claims.
The Federal Aviation Administration told PolitiFact that it has seen no evidence of aircraft accidents or pilot incapacitations caused by pilots suffering from medical complications involving COVID-19 vaccines.
The rate of aviation fatalities has reached a relative low point during the period COVID-19 vaccines have been available to the public.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
A Rumble video, Oct. 17, 2021
Interview, Crystal Essiaw, spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration, Oct. 19, 2021
Interview, Keith Holloway, spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board, Oct. 19, 2021
Arizona Republic, Dr. Sugata Das, Yuma cardiologist, dies in a plane crash in California, Oct. 12, 2021
Federal Aviation Administration, FAQs on Use of COVID-19 Vaccines by Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers, accessed Oct. 19, 2021
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