Disturbing photo of haphazardly patched plane wing leaves passengers terrified – before aviation experts offer a very simple explanation for the bizarre fix
- Tape was seen slapped across wing of plane
- Plane was flying out of Melbourne Airport
- Tape was used to temporarily fix peeling paint
A disturbing photo of a plane wing that appears to have been haphazardly repaired with silver duct tape isn’t as it seems with aviation experts offering a simple explanation into why it was plastered with the shiny patches.
A passenger snapped a photo of the tape, known as speed tape, that had been stuck along the wing of a plane flying out of Melbourne Airport.
Despite the passenger’s fears, others were quick to assure the traveller, flying from Melbourne to Phuket, that the speed tape was simply on the wing to ensure any flaking paint didn’t disrupt its aerodynamics.
Speed tape is common in the aviation industry and is used for minor repairs on aircraft – specifically for peeling or flaking paint.
It is an issue that has plagued Boeing 787s since they entered the market with the aeroplane manufacturer recently coming up with a new type of paint to ensure it stops happening.
A passenger had snapped a photo of the tape, known as speed tape, that had been stuck down across the wing of a plane flying out of Melbourne Airport
The tape used is an aluminum pressure-sensitive tape that can withstand high speeds and does not pose any safety risk.
US pilot and safety consultant John Nance said the tape was often used as a temporary measure to prevent any more wear and tear.
‘It is not something that would be used to hold together two parts of the airplane,’ he previously told Traveller.
‘This is usually skin, but you don’t want anything peeling back further than it might already have started peeling back.’
The Federal Aviation Administration also said in a statement that speed tape was used ‘for temporary, minor repairs to nonstructural aircraft components’.
Paint peeling is common on the wings of Boeing 787 planes that are used by airlines all over the world
A spokesperson for Boeing earlier told aviation publication Simple: ‘The peeling does not affect the structural integrity of the wing, and does not affect the safety of the flight’.
The aircraft company is also rolling out a new undercoat paint this year which will improve the longevity of paint on 787 wings.
In September last year a similar photo emerged of what was believed to be speed tape on the wing of a Qantas plane, however the airline did not confirm if it was one of their aircraft.
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