Explained: Photo of 747 with Contrails Only on One Side [Fake, April Fool]

Gerard

Member
Just saw this posted on facebook.
Anyone got an idea what is going on here?

It looks like two of the engines aren't running or maybe have been throttled back to a very low power level. Perhaps this was done during a test flight.
 

Mechanik

Active Member
Agreed, test flight. The plane is “crabbing” across the sky due to uneven thrust. That’s why the contrail is skewed to one side. The contrail is more or less straight, but the plane is angled to the side. It’s kind of sliding sideways as it moves forward. Here is a YouTube link to an illustration: Source: https://youtu.be/dZ74KE90vOY
 

tavacid

New Member
This is the oldest source I could find (1st April).
https://www.instagram.com/aeroplanesinsta/p/Bvt0ZHkBOBl/
 

Gerard

Member
This is the oldest source I could find (1st April).
https://www.instagram.com/aeroplanesinsta/p/Bvt0ZHkBOBl/

That looks more like someone joking or trolling. I don't think this is any kind of standard operating procedure, but may perhaps be done by a test pilot.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
This is the oldest source I could find (1st April).
https://www.instagram.com/aeroplanesinsta/p/Bvt0ZHkBOBl/

That explanation makes zero sense for the plane in the photo. Maybe on a 4 seater little plane, but not a 747.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It's possible it's a fake, look at the region on the right of the image under the engines.
Metabunk 2019-05-19 11-20-28.jpg

It's trivially easy to fake.
[compare]
Metabunk 2019-05-19 11-29-21.jpg
Metabunk 2019-05-19 11-27-38.jpg
[/compare]

Not conclusive, but it seems like such an interesting shot would show up elsewhere in higher resolution.
 

M Bornong

Senior Member.
This is the oldest source I could find (1st April).
https://www.instagram.com/aeroplanesinsta/p/Bvt0ZHkBOBl/

With the date and explanation, I'm leaning towards an April Fool's joke.
 

tavacid

New Member
I think the picture is fake



And as Mick said, there is definetly something strange under the left engines
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
Orientation of the plane suggests that it was filmed from another plane, most likely from the cockpit. Were the photo true, it would definitely have caused a stir in the aviation-related social networks, yet there was none as far as I am aware.
 

Gerard

Member
I would think that the easiest way to fake this (assuming you can get this view of the plane with 4 contrails) would be to copy a portion of the background and use it to paint over the left engine contrails.

From the JPEG error analysis shown above it's not clear this was done. Rather the entire background seems to show a suspicious blocky structure which would seem to suggest that the entire background might be fake.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think the picture is fake
Artifacts like this one around an object are common at high compression and do not mean it is fake.

The region under the right side wing is different though.

I suspect it has simply been saved at high compression to hide evidence of tampering.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
From the JPEG error analysis shown above it's not clear this was done. Rather the entire background seems to show a suspicious blocky structure which would seem to suggest that the entire background might be fake.
That's just normal compression artifacts. The key clue is the different region under the wing on the right of the image. However, it does not extend all the way down, and is not conclusive.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
someone could just ask on the Instagram post. Last year he posted something else chemtrailers latched onto, and in the comments he said something (major paraphrasing) along the lines of he is just messing with chemtrailers. I don't remember the specifics of the pic but I shared that with the woman spreading it (either FB or YouTube, I don't remember) and she said "thanks." Anyway, he/they will likely answer a "is this photoshopped?" question.
 

Gerard

Member
That's just normal compression artifacts.

I don't think the very coarse block structure is normal. I tried the analysis on a different image and didn't see anything like that, only fine scale graininess similar to what you see on this image in the plane and contrail areas of the photo.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don't think the very coarse block structure is normal. I tried the analysis on a different image and didn't see anything like that, only fine scale graininess similar to what you see on this image in the plane and contrail areas of the photo.
It's perfectly normal for an image saved at high compression. Try this one:
Boeing-747-Contrail-low-1200.jpg
 

Gerard

Member
It's perfectly normal for an image saved at high compression. Try this one:

OK, I guess the underlying cause of the coarse background structure in both images are variations in faint clouds which are difficult to see in the original images but are amplified by the JPEG error analysis.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
OK, I guess the underlying cause of the coarse background structure in both images are variations in faint clouds which are difficult to see in the original images but are amplified by the JPEG error analysis.
More like the natural gradient of the low sky, and that alone is not causing the coarse background structure, it's the saving at a low JPEG setting that does that. You can see it in the original posted image, and more so with a simple contrast tweak.

JPEG error analysis is often misleading, and I'd encourage people not to draw conclusions from it unless they really understand what is going on.
 
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