Flight Canceled Over Missing Bolts On Plane Wings

A Virgin Atlantic flight was canceled just before takeoff after a passenger raised concerns about missing bolts on one of the plane wings.

According to the New York Post, British traveler Phil Hardy was on Flight VS127 when he spotted four missing fasteners during a safety briefing and informed the cabin crew immediately.

After he raised the alarm, engineers were called out to carry out maintenance checks on the Airbus A330 aircraft before its scheduled takeoff.

“I’m a good flier, 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 the news outlet. “I thought it was best to mention it to a flight attendant to be on the safe side.”

A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said the flight was canceled. He added that it was to provide time for additional engineering checks and enable the team to complete their inspections.

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

However, the team that conducted the inspections found that the tops of four out of the 119 fasteners on the wing panel were missing. According to Airbus’s local chief wing Engineer, Neil Firth, Virgin Atlantic and Airbus stated that no passengers were at risk.

“Each of the wing panels on an Airbus A330 has 119 fasteners,” Firth said. “The fact that only four were missing did not affect the load capability of the wing, and the aircraft was safe to operate. As a precautionary measure, the aircraft underwent an additional maintenance check, and the fasteners were replaced.”

Passengers on the canceled flight were booked on alternative flights to New York.