A passenger aboard an easyJet flight was stunned to see an airport worker taping up the engine shell literally minutes before take-off.
The anonymous passenger took a picture after observing the worker applying the tape over a join on the turbine casing.
The image has since been widely shared on social media, but was catapulted into prominence after being shared on Reddit.
1. A picture taken from inside the plane shows a worker using tape on the engine section.
The airport worker is photographed in a fluorescent vest, measuring up a line of what looks very much like duct tape, to be applied around the top of the engine.
However, it turns out that looks can be misleading and it is not duct tape, after all. The item is believed to be speed tape, which is widely used in aviation to perform quick repairs on planes, in order to avoid delays.
According to experts, speed tape is an aluminized pressure-sensitive tape, which is used for minor temporary repairs on airplanes and racing cars, until a more permanent fix can be applied.
It does look like duct tape, however its adhesive surface allows it to stick on the part of the plane to which it is applied at high speeds, which gives it the name.
One Reddit user offered an explanation as per why this might happen:
Without the tape, high-speed air can get in between the engine and the fairing and cause vibration or throw off the balance of the engine.
Under rare circumstances the fairing can be torn off by the air pressure forming on the leading edge.
The tape closes this gap safely, immediately reducing the chance of mechanical failure. Then they can get the plane fixed at the next convenience or service schedule.
2. A zoomed-in version shows a roll of tape is being used, believed to further protect the engine.
But an easyJet spokesperson insisted that in this case, the tape was not used for repair work at all. He said:
The high speed metallic tape is in place as a result of some cosmetic work that is required to the aircraft paintwork.
It is nothing structural and in no way compromises the safety of the aircraft.
It is unclear at which airport this picture was taken.
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