This photo popped up on Twitter a while back* and was so shocking at first glance that I just knew I needed to find an explanation:
— Adam Wood (@adtomwood) May 29, 2015
As it turned out, the easyJet worker wasn’t applying duct tape to the plane ;-). Although if you believed the original reply that easyJet tweeted, that’d be a little misleading:
@adtomwood Hi Adam, Please be reassured that the duct tape is in place as a result of some cosmetic work that is required to the aircraft
— easyJet (@easyJet) May 29, 2015
Duct tape for cosmetic work? On a PLANE??
A couple of days later though, easyJet gave a different answer:
@jeffevansg Hi Jeff, the engineer was carrying out a routine maintenance procedure with speed tape in line with security measures.^Ioanna
— easyJet (@easyJet) May 31, 2015
So what was it?
It’s widely believed the worker was applying speed tape to the plane and, in that case, it was perfectly OK and safe to do so.
Speed tape (also known as aluminum foil tape) is an aluminum pressure-sensitive tape that’s used to do minor repairs on, along other things, planes. It’s used as a temporary repair material until a more permanent repair can be done. It looks like duct tape (gee, ya THINK?) but its adhesive can stick onto an airplane fuselage or wing at high speeds, which is how it got its name. It’s approved by the manufacturer, the FAA and airlines’ engineering departments for certain temporary repairs.
So it’s all good – should you ever see what looks like a duct tape repair on a plane, don’t worry – it’s not 😉
* Yes, I know the tweet/photo is over 4 years old. It was the first time I saw it and, I bet, there will be several other people reading this who never saw it before, either. So there 😉
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary