A picture posted on Twitter over the weekend showing an aircraft maintenance worker bodging up an easyJet aircraft with tape rapidly went viral. The photograph of the worker sticking what looked like duct tape over an engine casing at an unidentified UK airport was viewed by upwards of 20,000 people during the first few hours after it was posted up.
The snapshot shows the worker on a stepladder and wearing a high-vis safety vest sticking the tape around a join in the front of the casing. As a postscript, user @adtomwood tweeted that it was slightly worrying to see somebody sticking the aircraft together.
The photograph was said to have been taken just before the aircraft headed for the taxiway and takeoff. easyJet wasted no time in replying and posted a response saying that the tape was nothing to do with the aircraft’s structure and it was safe to fly.
The reply explained that the tape was just needed to streamline the aeroplane’s paintwork. @adtomwood was also not slow to answer and said he was relieved as he had forgotten to bring a parachute.
An anonymous airline industry expert later said that although the tape resembled duct tape it was in fact something known as speed tape. He continued by saying this tape is usually used to effect speedy repairs and ensure flights are not delayed for minor problems.
The analyst speculated that as the tape was being adhered to an engine fairing, it was probably to seal a gap until the aircraft was in a hangar for maintenance. He posited that the tape was to block air-flow between the housing and the engine and stop vibrations caused by its passage.