Home World Virgin Atlantic cancels NYC-bound flight as passenger spots missing bolts

Virgin Atlantic cancels NYC-bound flight as passenger spots missing bolts

Virgin Atlantic cancels NYC-bound flight as passenger spots missing bolts


Virgin Atlantic and Airbus confirmed that aircraft’s safety was not compromised by missing fixings

This combination of images shows a screengrab of a video showing an engineer screwing the missing bolts from the Virgin Atlantic aircraft (Left) and an image of the missing bolts on the plane wing. — X/@AlertaMundoNews

A Virgin Atlantic flight set for departure from the United Kingdom’s Manchester Airport to New York City’s John F Kennedy International Airport was recently cancelled after a passenger spotted missing screws on the plane’s wing, ABC7 reported Monday.

British traveller Phil Hardy, 41, was aboard Flight VS127 on January 15 when he identified four missing fasteners during a safety briefing for passengers. 

To ensure safety, Hardy promptly notified the cabin crew.

“I’m a good flyer, but my partner was not loving the information I was telling her and starting to panic, and I was trying to put her mind at rest as much as I could,” Hardy told Kennedy News of the moment he spotted the missing fixings.

“I thought it was best to mention it to a flight attendant to be on the safe side.”

Despite repeated assurances from airline staff that the wing’s safety was unaffected, Hardy’s apprehensions grew, particularly in light of a recent incident involving an Alaska Airlines plane losing a door plug and a portion of its fuselage mid-flight.

Engineers were called to check the Airbus A330 aircraft before its scheduled departure. Hardy captured footage of an engineer using a screwdriver to fix missing fasteners.

A Virgin representative stated that the flight was cancelled to allow time for additional engineering maintenance checks, prioritising the safety of customers and crew, and ensuring the team’s complete inspections.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority and this was not compromised at any point,” the rep said in the statement. “We always work well above industry safety standards and the aircraft is now back in service.”

Airbus local chief wing engineer, Neil Firth, confirmed that the panel affected was a secondary structure for improving the plane’s aerodynamics. Each panel contains 119 fasteners, and the missing ones did not impact the wing’s structural integrity or load capability.

Hardy and his partner, Magdalena Bobusia, eventually reached their destination in New York City after being rebooked on another flight.


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