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United Airlines: Duct Tape on Wing?

United Airlines: Duct Tape on Wing?

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Old May 2, 09, 1:27 am
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United Airlines: Duct Taped Wing?

On a flight in April 2009, I saw a large piece of, what appeared to be, duct tape on the wing of a United Airlines plane. I had a window seat overlooking the posterior portion of the wing. The tape appearing type of material was over a section where two pieces of metal came together. It had a gathered appearance, so it wasn't a metal patch. We reported this to the Federal Transportation and Safety Board.

Last edited by J P Smith; May 2, 09 at 1:34 am Reason: shorten title
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Old May 2, 09, 2:46 am
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Originally Posted by J P Smith View Post
We reported this to the Federal Transportation and Safety Board.
Good .

Did you get the tail #?
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Old May 2, 09, 3:08 am
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You reported it to who???
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Old May 2, 09, 6:19 am
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Originally Posted by J P Smith View Post
On a flight in April 2009, I saw a large piece of, what appeared to be, duct tape on the wing of a United Airlines plane. I had a window seat overlooking the posterior portion of the wing. The tape appearing type of material was over a section where two pieces of metal came together. It had a gathered appearance, so it wasn't a metal patch. We reported this to the Federal Transportation and Safety Board.

It's called Speed Tape, and its use as a temporary cover until a permanent repair can be done is perfectly legal and in the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (the AMM). The time that it is allowed to be on there is limited and the repair is probably already completed by now.

Sorry that it left you feeling uneasy, if you had asked a flight attendant they could have asked the pilot about it and you would probably have received the same answer as above. That would have saved your worry and concern.

BTW, Welcome to FlyerTalk.
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Old May 2, 09, 7:34 pm
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Planemechanic is right. VERY common. Perfectly safe.
I have seen a CRJ-700 with a completely cracked windshield. Top to bottom. It was taped up and kept in service. Don't know how long until they fixed it, but thought it was funny. Even the pilot seemed pretty weary.
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Old May 2, 09, 10:32 pm
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Aka "six hundred mile an hour" tape.
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Old May 3, 09, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by planemechanic View Post
It's called Speed Tape, and its use as a temporary cover until a permanent repair can be done is perfectly legal and in the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (the AMM). The time that it is allowed to be on there is limited and the repair is probably already completed by now.
I saw this tape used once when a small engine cowling cover fell onto the tarmac just as the plane (a 737) started to push back from the gate. The pilot came on the PA system and explained that there was no saftey issue.
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Old May 3, 09, 8:53 am
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I have seen this sort of tape frequently - most recently on a propellor blade.
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Old May 3, 09, 6:39 pm
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There are many parts of the wings, especially wing panels and fairings at the wing root and around the engine pylon, that are made from a composite material (think fiberglass or similar). These areas can become damaged or eroded and the repairs need to be done with heat and vacuum. The tape is not there to hold the panel on, nor to beef up the strength.

The tape is there to prevent water ingression into the panel which makes the repair more difficult. Water ingression also adds weight to the airplane, which is another negative.
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Old May 5, 09, 4:05 am
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This thread: United Airlines Duct Tape on Wing, was on Google yesterday. Today it cannot be found. It has disappeared.
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Old May 5, 09, 5:49 am
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Originally Posted by J P Smith View Post
This thread: United Airlines Duct Tape on Wing, was on Google yesterday. Today it cannot be found. It has disappeared.
Since your original post was incorrect in some of its assumptions why are you worried that it is not on Google?
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Old May 5, 09, 11:35 am
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It is not Duct Tape, it is Hi-Speed Tape, or Ripstop Tape, which are fully certified by the FAA to be used on the airframe. World of difference in the products (and in their price !).
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Old May 5, 09, 9:13 pm
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Is "planemechanic" an employee of United Airlines. Seems a little defensive about reports that people submit about UAL.
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Old May 5, 09, 9:17 pm
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The defensive one should be you since it is apparent you don't know what you're talking about.
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Old May 5, 09, 9:26 pm
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Originally Posted by J P Smith View Post
Is "planemechanic" an employee of United Airlines. Seems a little defensive about reports that people submit about UAL.
No, J P Smith, planemechanic just appears to have a little more knowledge than you do about the question that you had.

You call planemechanic defensive, we call you paranoid.

Anyway, welcome to FlyerTalk!
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