It's not often a viral video is debunked by federal investigators but the FAA has determined that Victor Cruz's admittedly significant skills were exaggerated in a YouTube video. The video depicted Cruz, the star receiver for the New York Giants, catching a football that appeared to have been thrown from an airplane. As we reported in November, the video showed him easily catching a ball as a Cessna flies overhead at what looks to be the required 1,000 feet. Cruz makes the catch in the parking lot of what looks like a football stadium in a built-up area and that's what caught the attention of the FAA. As many AVweb readers had also determined (through mathematical, anecdotal and plain common sense deduction) the agency quickly found out the pilot of the Cessna did not allow an object to be dropped from the plane against federal regulations. They took a more direct route to that conclusion.
"Our inspectors interviewed the Giants' promotions staff," an FAA spokesman told AVweb. Plenty of others had asked the same basic questions but while Cruz and the Giants were coy with the media and Twitter followers, they apparently 'fessed up right away when the feds came knocking. The agency didn't give away any secrets as to how the video trickery was performed. As fakes go, it was fairly elaborate, right down to the guy with the handheld radio apparently talking to the pilot. Have a look at our letters section to see a few examples of how AVweb readers reached their conclusions.