A young mother flying with her baby in New Zealand panicked after noticing a part of the plane she was flying on was held together with sticky tape.
Jessica Baker posted photos on social media of the engine panel on the aircraft’s wing being bound by tape on March 20 with the words, “Kiwi ingenuity at its finest.”
She said she was terrified after another passenger pointed it out to her, reports Daily Mail.
“I’m not a good flier so it made me incredibly nervous seeing that,” Baker said, adding she feared it was duct tape. She said she spent the rest of the flight nervously watching the aircraft's wing.
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Air New Zealand spokeswoman Emma Field explained what the mother saw was actually specialist aviation speed tape, a safe material used to maintain airplanes. It is made of aluminum and is used as a temporary fix.
While Baker said she felt safer after Field explained what it was, and will use Air New Zealand again, she still wishes passengers had been notified of this beforehand.
This is not the first time an airplane’s speed tape has shocked passengers.
In May 2015, an EasyJet passenger took a photo of a worker applying tape to a plane, assuming it was duct tape, the Mirror reports.
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“Always worrying when easyJet are duct taping the plane together :-s #finaldestination," said Twitter user adtomwood as he posted the image.
EasyJet quickly eased the man’s worries, replying, "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 paintwork. It is nothing structural and in no way compromises the safety of the aircraft."
Surprisingly, many social media users were also able to explain the tape.
"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," one user explained. "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.”