Virgin Atlantic canceled a New York-bound flight to conduct additional maintenance checks after a passenger spotted parts missing from the aircraft’s wing.
The U.K.-based carrier initiated the checks last week after a passenger told the flight crew about several absent bolt fastener tops, according to the Manchester Evening News, which first reported the flight’s cancellation.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson told FOX Business that the airline canceled the flight “to provide time for precautionary additional engineering checks, which allowed our team the maximum time to complete their inspections.” The plane, an Airbus A330, was scheduled to fly from Manchester, England, to New York City.
The team that conducted the inspections found the tops of four out of the 119 fasteners on the wing panel were missing, according to Virgin Atlantic. Workers eventually installed new fasteners as replacements.
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“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority and this was not compromised at any point,” Virgin Atlantic told FOX Business. “We always work well above industry safety standards and the aircraft is now back in service.”
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“The panel in the image is a secondary structure panel, used to improve the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft,” Neil Firth, an Airbus local chief wing engineer for the A330, said in a statement. “Each of these panels has 119 fasteners so there was no impact to the structural integrity or load capability of the wing, and the aircraft was safe to operate.”
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