BUT ITS DEI SCORE WAS PERFECT: ‘Um… Why Is Our Plane’s Wing Missing All Those Screws?’

The passenger took photographs of maintenance people with screwdrivers fiddling around with the panel where the missing hardware was noticed. (You can see the pictures in the linked article.) But then the flight was canceled and everyone was booked on other flights while they pulled the plane back for additional inspection and maintenance.

This incident wasn’t closely related to the Portland mishap. This was a Virgin Atlantic flight, not Alaskan Air. Also, instead of a Boeing 737 Max, this was an Airbus A330, a plane with a fairly solid safety record. Both Virgin and Airbus stressed to reporters that there was “no impact to the safety of last week’s aircraft.” They said that the panel with the missing hardware was “a secondary structure used to improve the aerodynamics of the plane.” They also said that each panel has 119 fasteners and its condition wouldn’t have caused any flight issues.

Okay. Perhaps that’s true. But if the plane didn’t need those “improved aerodynamics,” the engineers wouldn’t have included it. And if they designed it with 119 fasteners, it’s supposed to have 119 fasteners. They wouldn’t have added extra ones just to be decorative. You don’t add any superfluous weight to planes.

Fortunately, Washington, as always, is laser focused on this issue: Biden leads crowd in ‘Happy Birthday’ song for Buttigieg: ‘Pete turned 30 today.’