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Did a Delta Pilot Collapse and Die Midflight?
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Did a Delta Pilot Collapse and Die Midflight?


A widely shared article from The True Defender, which describes itself as having been founded “as a counter to the establishment media that primarily shares news and opinion from a decidedly liberal perspective,” claims that “that a fully vaccinated Delta Airlines pilot died in flight within the last two weeks, an emergency landing was forced, and the company is covering it up!”

This is a false claim. 

The rumor comes from “The Stew Peters Show” podcast, where podcast guest Jane Ruby shared a story “directly related to Delta airlines” that was “corroborated from three separate whistleblowers,” one of them being the co-pilot. She claimed a “pilot died in flight” and that the co-pilot had to make an emergency landing.

Again, this isn’t true. 

Ruby, who describes herself as “​​a medical professional and a pharmaceutical drug development expert,” has previously promoted debunked claims about the COVID-19 vaccine, such as the false rumor that magnetism was being added to the COVID-19 vaccine. According to Reuters, Ruby has also promoted the claim, without sufficient evidence, that the COVID-19 vaccine causes blood anomalies. 

In an email to The Dispatch Fact Check, a spokesperson from Delta said: “Delta is aware of reports suggesting one of the airline’s pilots passed away from vaccine complications while operating a flight, resulting in an emergency landing. All of these allegations are false.”

The Federal Aviation Administration also told The Dispatch Fact Check via email that: “The FAA has found no evidence such an event occurred.”

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Khaya Himmelman is a fact checker for The Dispatch. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Barnard College.