Passenger Shares Terrifying Moment Screws On Aeroplane Wing Loosen At 35,000 Feet
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For a lot of people, flying can be pretty nerve-racking at the best of times, but even more so when the plane itself seems to be falling apart. Just like this one:
A passenger was on an Air China flight from Beijing to Hengyang on 7 July when they spotted something a bit amiss outside.
Glancing out of the window, the concerned traveller noticed that the wing appeared to be literally breaking up mid-air.
Doesn't fill you with confidence, does it?
In a video shared online, one of the screws securing a fairing had disappeared, while several others alongside it were rattling around loosely.
Unsurprisingly, the footage quickly went viral, with Air China having to get involved and apologise for the incident, and also reassure customers that its flights are safe.
The airline's statement read: "Air China attached great importance to the loose screws in the inboard canoe fairing of the left flap of Air China flight CA1921 shared on the internet, and immediately inspected the relevant parts of the aircraft, repaired the loose screws, and checked the relevant fleet.
"Air China will adhere to 'safety first' to ensure aviation safety. Thank you for your concern and attention to Air China."
Despite the statement, however, the airline didn't offer an explanation as to how the screws became loose in the first place or how dangerous the situation potentially was.
Offering their own idea of what could have been going on, one blogger wrote: "One possibility is that the supporting target in the fairing was broken; another possibility is that the screws were loose due to long-term vibration at this position."
However, pilot Chen Jianguo said it wasn't as dangerous as people may have feared.
"It has no impact on safety if one or two screws on the fairing were loose," he said.
"At the very least, even if there is no fairing, this will not affect safety."
It certainly could have been worse.
Emirates Airbus A380 (A6-EVK) departed rwy 30L at Dubai (OMDB), VAE on flight #EK430 to Brisbane, Qld, Australia where it landed safely. After landing, a large hole was seen in the left fuselage, allegedly coming from a detached bolt in the nosegear.https://t.co/o1EqBuJ0bA pic.twitter.com/s4p6tIpXDw— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) July 2, 2022
The Airbus A380 landed in Brisbane on 1 July following the near-14 hour flight from Emirates' main hub, during which pilots are said to have contacted Air Traffic Control to report a suspected issue.
Crew on board the plane told the authority they suspected they had blown a tyre while taking off from Dubai, and requested to be met by emergency services when they landed, the Aviation Herald reports.
Passengers had heard the incident take place either during or shortly after takeoff, with one passenger telling Australia’s Courier Mail he had heard a worrying noise about 45 minutes into the flight, The Independent reports.
It's enough to make anyone a nervous passenger!