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Passenger Notices Missing Bolts on Virgin Atlantic Plane Wing Moments Before Takeoff



Source: Virgin Atlantic
Just moments before taking off from Manchester Airport in the United Kingdom, a passenger noticed missing bolts in the plane’s wing.
According to USA Today, the Virgin Atlantic plane was destined for John F. Kennedy in New York until a passenger alerted a crew member after noting four missing fasteners on top of the Airbus A330’s wing.
Engineers were called to inspect the plane, and the flight “was cancelled to provide time for precautionary additional engineering maintenance checks, which allowed our team the maximum time to complete their inspections,” a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson told USA TODAY.
“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority and this was not compromised at any point,” the airline continued. “We always work well above industry safety standards and the aircraft is now back in service. We’d like to apologise to our customers for the delay to their journeys.”
According to Airbus UK’s Chief Wing Engineer Neil Firth, the missing fasteners had “no impact to the structural integrity or load capability of the wing, and the aircraft was safe to operate,” with Firth telling USA Today that the panel in question is part of a secondary structure dedicated to enhancing the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft.
“As a precautionary measure, the aircraft underwent an additional maintenance check, and the fasteners were replaced,” Firth told the news outlet.