A 14-second video of a US-origin gigantic C-17 Globemaster maneuvered by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has gone viral on social media.
The visuals contain a burst of heart-stopping action.
The video shows a C-17 Globemaster zipping past Australian skyscrapers at just 300 feet from the ground level in Brisbane. The military aircraft is seen to maneuver amidst buildings and around houses, in what has been described as a “stupid stunt” and “unnecessarily stupid and dangerous”.
The Boeing C-17 Globemaster is a four-engine heavy-lift transport aircraft with a maximum payload of around 82 tons and a maximum speed of 520 mph.
Although the video has been trending online, it was originally shot in 2018. The aerial show, organized by the RAAF, was a part of their preparations for the 21st annual Riverfire, the iconic three-week-long arts and cultural festival considered to be Queensland’s largest annual public celebration.
The surreal video is capturing attention due to its uncanny resemblance to the event of the September 11, 2001 terror attack in New York City that witnessed the terrorist group Al-Qaeda flying two planes into the Twin towers, killing nearly 3000 people.
“I sincerely, genuinely and legitimately had my heart drop a million miles a second once the plane turned. I’m sure they have everything under control but as an American, that was the scariest shit I’ve seen in awhile,” commented a social media user. “Americans are gonna have a PTSD episode,” said another.
The video has been receiving comments like, “That was indeed traumatic to watch and my heart did palpitate”, “Yup – I had my hand over my mouth in total shock that a plane was flying like this in a city” on Reddit.
The flyby is viral online due to another video that has been shot from a different angle, in which the massive plane appears to fly directly at the person holding the camera.
Shot by workers in the nearby office building, they are heard shouting, “Looks like it’s gonna land”, “You’ve gotta be kidding me” as the jet thunders past their glass window.
The aircraft was due to drop to an altitude of just 100 meters and cruise above the city skyline at 300km/h, according to the Air Force.
Talking about the original video, which was about 2-minute long, tech geek and journalist Chris Young notes that “the angle of the video makes the maneuver look particularly dramatic”.
“Though the figures and footage are dramatic, the plane was actually flying over Brisbane River for a large part of the flight, meaning it did have space to shift in either direction. In the unlikely event of an engine failure, it would have crashed into the water,” he says.
Photographer Tim Dwyer said Riverfire was one of his favorite times of the year. ‘I’ve been doing this angle for the last couple of years,” he said, according to the Brisbane Times. “I’ve photographed the choppers, Hornets, Growlers, but this is the first time I’ve seen the Globemaster so low.”
Adding to the controversy, it is not just criticism that the clips have garnered. Many users have conveyed appreciation in favor of the RAAF and the military’s skillful coordination of the airshow, saying the stunt would have only been executed following a great deal of planning.
One said: “Unless both pilots had a synchronized heart attack or catastrophic plane failure, nobody was in any danger.”
It is worth noting that this was a well-rehearsed stunt, which was painstakingly planned by the RAAF over several months and the public had been informed about it well in advance. The RAAF is known to have experience with such aerial stunts.
— Written by Anshruta Banerjee