A video shows an airliner making an emergency landing, using a pickup truck in place of failed landing gear. Is this video real or fake?
The video was a Nissan television commercial from 2011.
Let’s first take a look at the video, which was posted on YouTube on October 5, 2011.
In a video entitled Nissan Frontier_ Landing Gear Interviews, we see a jet which is using the back of a pickup truck in place of its front landing gear, which has apparently failed.
The jet approaches the fast-moving truck and touches down on its bed, saving the plane from a potentially catastrophic situation. The video’s caption reads “With full-size payload and towing, the Nissan Frontier is the mid-size truck that acts like a full size, giving the driver the feeling they can tackle any obstacle.”
The video includes a realistic-looking newscast breaking story, complete with time stamp and local temperature. The on-screen graphic reads “Landing Gear Failure… Plane saved by truck.” Several eyewitness interviews are also featured in the footage, using a shaky first-hand perspective, which gives the video a realistic feel.
As of January 2016, the video has nearly 100,000 views.
The advertisement ran in 2011 and was featured in AdWeek back in October of that year. It was reported that the agency responsible for the spot was TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles. The campaign was designed to provide powerful imagery which portrayed Nissan Frontier trucks as tough enough to perform even in unusual circumstances.
A second, less well-known spot, was produced as part of the campaign, which featured a Frontier pushing a sand buggy to the top of a dune.
Commercials depicting “tough” trucks are not new. Five years earlier, for example, an ad campaign featured Toyota Tacoma trucks surviving a series of outlandish situations, such as being attacked by the Loch Ness Monster.
It has been debated if the scenario in the commercial is even possible. The landing speed for large jets such as the one depicted may be around 125-160 knots, or about 145-160 miles per hour. That, combined with the precision required for the plane to touch down its nose in the bed of the truck seems improbable even in the best of circumstances.
The chart below shows search popularity on this topic, which seems to have several surges per year.
The video showing a plane engaged in an emergency landing on a pickup truck was not an actual event. It was an advertisement for the Nissan Frontier truck in 2011.
Updated January 20, 2016
Originally published September 2014