What a sticky situation for Boeing.
It was another day, another mile-high issue for the fiasco-plagued airplane designer when a UK passenger grew alarmed after noticing pieces of tape on the exterior of a Boeing 787 during a flight to India, as seen in shocking photos.
“I’ve flown all around the world, but never seen anything like that before,” David Parker, 62, told South West News Service of the incident, which occurred on Feb. 5 while he was traveling from Manchester, UK, to Goa with his fiancé.
Things were going swimmingly until the real estate agent noticed a patchwork quilt of silver adhesive on the plane’s wings.
“It began peeling off mid-flight, I thought, ‘What the hell!?’” exclaimed the appalled Brit. “I pointed it out to my missus — she just said, ‘I wish you hadn’t shown me that.’”
Accompanying photos show the strips of tape, which look like something a boy would use to repair a model airplane.
“I was very surprised to see a patchwork of gaffer tape all over the wing halfway through the flight,” declared a stunned Parker.
However, Boeing has since assured the public that the airplane adhesive is “speed tape,” which is perfectly safe for use on airplanes.
“Speed tape is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved material for some temporary fixes,” a company spokesperson clarified to SWNS.
They explained that in this case, it was likely used to fix “paint adhesion” issues that have been plaguing some 787s.
According to the spokesperson, the sticky material is used to keep paint from peeling off — and not to haphazardly hold a rickety aircraft together.
The representative acknowledged that the material might look unsightly, but that it’s only an interim fix before they begin applying a new black topcoat layer to all their planes during production.
“The airplane’s structural integrity remains intact, and this has been determined to not be a safety of flight issue,” the rep assured.
However, it’s perhaps not surprising that the sight of tape would set off alarm bells.
Boeing has recently been plagued by safety concerns that began Jan. 5 after a door panel blew off a Boeing 737 MAX 9 jet during a flight from Oregon to California.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the plane — which was operated by Alaska Airlines — appeared to be missing four key bolts.
Photo evidence released Tuesday revealed that the bolts were missing from the door plug, which had been removed to fix rivets that were damaged in the production process, per the report.
Disaster struck again a week later after a Boeing plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Japan due to a crack in the cockpit window.