A passenger discovered a malfunction on the wing of a Virgin Atlantic plane: the flight was canceled for additional technical checks
A Virgin Atlantic flight from Manchester to New York on January 15 was canceled shortly before departure. One of the passengers noticed that four of the upper wing fasteners were missing, prompting further inspection.
The passenger, whose name has not been disclosed, informed the crew about the somewhat alarming condition of the wings, leading the airline's staff to summon mechanics for a thorough check. According to the Daily Star, the absence of the upper parts does not compromise the structural integrity of the wing or the safe operation of the aircraft, but the flight was canceled for safety reasons.
The Airbus A330 could not be cleared for flight, and passengers had to be accommodated on other planes.
Virgin Atlantic expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to passengers and emphasized that the safety of its passengers is the top priority.
Neil Firth, Airbus' chief aeronautical engineer for the A330, stated, "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. As a precautionary measure, the aircraft underwent an additional maintenance check, and the fasteners were replaced."
After the additional checks, the aircraft was returned to service.