Photos of plane fixed with tape arouse concern
08:12, June 09, 2010
A photograph shows a Kunming Airlines aircraft flying with aluminum tape on its wing. (Photo: China Daily)
An online post, which reveals shocking midair photographs of a Kunming Airlines aircraft flying with aluminum tape rolled around its wing, has triggered concerns over flight safety.
However, according to aviation experts, there is no need for worry, as "aluminum tape is commonly used as a temporary measure to fix planes".
Three photographs of the plane in its flight were uploaded on the web on Saturday, and were transported across the Internet in no time.
The photos clearly reveal a part attached to one of the wings is held together with a silver tape.
According to an industry insider, the part fixed with aluminum tape is related to flight control.
The unusual sight, which may be rare to most frequent fliers, has aroused a heated discussion online.
Many Internet users simply do not believe the authenticity of the photographs, wary of being fooled once again by the use of software to change photos for stunning effects.
Others, calling the fixing job "super-awesome", doubted how solid the aluminum tape could be and what if it gave way.
A netizen named "davy" said: "If these photos are true, I will never get on board any Kunming Airlines aircraft."
Kunming Airlines confirmed to the Yunnan Information newspaper on Tuesday that the Boeing 737-700 plane is theirs, but stressed that the aircraft was safe to fly.
Li Wenzhao, deputy manager of Kunming Airlines' maintenance engineering division, was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the part was installed on the plane a day before its flight, and the tape was used in accordance with the directions in the maintenance book - basically, to allow the sealing glue to solidify during the flight.
Lu Xiang, who teaches aircraft maintenance at the Civil Aviation University of China, said it is safe to use aluminum tapes to fix things on a plane temporarily, but not as a permanent solution.
Passengers should not worry, because before every take-off, planes need a nod from qualified professionals who thoroughly check their condition, he added.