A video on TikTok has caused a bit of worry for nervous flyers this week, showing airport workers applying tape to the wings of a plane.
"This is the reason why I don’t fly with Spirit. I don’t care if it is aviation airplane tape," the voiceover in @myhoneysmacks' video says. "The fact that you have to tape the plane together and then you doing it while people are on the flight like we cannot see you: that's the reason why I will not fly with spirit."
Though it probably looks a bit alarming if you are a nervous flyer about to take off, there's nothing to fear from getting on a plane that's being taped up like a Christmas present.
"There's never going to be a piece of garden-variety duct tape used on an airplane," pilot and safety consultant John Nance told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2022 when a photo of a taped-up plane wing went viral. "So if you're looking at it, it's called speed tape and it's very, very specifically designed to do whatever it is they're trying to make it do."
Speed tape is an extremely durable aluminum-based bonding tape, used to temporarily patch up non-critical components of aircraft. The tape is mainly used on areas that have become weathered, to prevent further weathering.
“We reached out to our Engineering team, and they confirmed that this is speed tape, and is safe and commonly used throughout the aviation industry,” a spokesperson for Spirit Airlines, Michael Lopardi, told AP. “The use of speed tape is authorized by the aircraft manufacturer and our Engineering team, and meets all requirements for use set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration.”
While it is only a temporary fix and isn't the most reassuring of sights, the plane remains perfectly safe.
All “explainer” articles are confirmed by fact checkers to be correct at time of publishing. Text, images, and links may be edited, removed, or added to at a later date to keep information current.