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Investigation reveals trending photo of aircraft with worn-out tyre is fake

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Worn out tyre

A photo making the rounds on social media showing a Nigerian aircraft with worn-out tyre has emerged as fake.

A Reverse Image Search conducted on the photo by The Guardian yesterday dated the image back to 2016, at a location overseas and used as an illustration in an attempt to teach an audience how commercial aircraft tyres are commonly re-used.

A popular online medium (not The Guardian) shared the photo of a badly damaged tyre, with the first layer already peeled off, but still on the wheel of an aircraft supposedly used by an airline in Nigeria. The photo was credited to a musician, Oluwarotimi Martins, popularly known as Alariwo of Africa.

According to the medium, “Alariwo wrote: Do we need to start looking at tyres now before we board a plane in Nigeria? This is the tyre of a plane and passengers are ready for boarding. This is one of the reasons why I never fly locally. It is all about money and not about the safety of the people.”

Alariwo, however, told The Guardian yesterday that the post was not from him, rather, from his Personal Assistant (PA), who manages his social media tools.

Alariwo denied knowledge of where the photo originated, citing that the PA had been travelling round “and would have picked the image from an airport”.

“But what gets me annoyed is the fact that he did not mention any airline. So, what is all these reactions all about? If he had mentioned this or that airline, then they can make claims. But he did not.

“The truth is that the post has nothing to do with me. The page belongs to me but he (PA) is the one using it. My only quarrel with him is that he mentioned Nigeria,” Alariwo said.

Fact checks traced the controversial image to an author, shiznittlebamsnipsnapsally by name, via the blog: imgur, on December 9, 2016. The author stated: “While you are sitting on the throne growing a tail, you might as well learn something new. Commercial aircraft tyres are commonly re-used multiple times.

“After the tyre is worn to limits, then it is sent to a facility where a new tread section is adhered to the tyre. This is an example of tread separation. The reason for this may be due to the facilities process, improper tyre storage or shelf life attention. Though this tyre was still at proper PSI upon arrival, it caused extensive damage to the flap due to the debris impact and required replacement of the flap and obviously the tyre.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday launched investigation and search for the operator using an aircraft with a worn-out tyre.


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