a flight of Virgin Atlantic bound for NY It was canceled moments before takeoff after a passenger alerted about the lack of several screws on the plane’s wing. The incident occurred on January 15, when the British traveler Phil Hardy41, observed the absence of four restraints and decided to inform the cabin crew during the passenger safety briefing.
According to Fox Businessengineers were immediately called to carry out maintenance checks on the aircraft Airbus A330 before their scheduled takeoff from the airport Manchesterin it United Kingdombound for the airport John F. Kennedy in NY.
A Virgin Atlantic representative said the flight cancellation “allowed time for additional preventative maintenance checks, allowing our team maximum time to complete their inspections.”
The airline Virgin Atlantic and the manufacturer Airbus They stressed that the absence of these elements did not affect the safety of the aircraft. Neil Firththe local chief engineer of the wing of the A330 for Airbus, explained that “the affected panel is a secondary structure used to improve the aerodynamics of the aircraft.”
Furthermore, he added that “each of these panels has 119 fasteners, so there was no impact on the structural integrity or load capacity of the wing, and the aircraft was safe to operate.”
New York Post reported that, after additional maintenance check, the missing fasteners were replaced. The airline organized alternative flights to the Big Apple for affected passengers and apologized for the delays caused to their travel.
The fear of the passenger who noticed the problem was increased by the recent incident in which a Alaska Airlines It lost its door plug and a part of its fuselage detached in mid-flight. Despite assurances from airline staff that there was no safety issue with the wing, the decision to cancel the flight was made as a precautionary measure.
“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority and was not compromised at any time,” said the representative of Virgin Atlantic. In addition, he stressed that they always work “well above industry safety standards and the aircraft is now back in service.”
This incident highlights the importance of vigilance by passengers and the quick and professional response of maintenance teams to ensure flight safety. Although situations like these are rare, they serve as a reminder of the safety protocols that airlines must rigorously follow.