A flight was canceled just before takeoff thanks to an eagle-eyed passenger. British traveler Phil Hardy, 41, was aboard the New York-bound Virgin Atlantic flight from UK’s Manchester Airport last week when he spotted four missing bolts out the window on his wing and quickly alerted 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 said in an interview.
Engineers quickly performed a maintenance check on the Airbus A330 aircraft and the flight ended up being scrapped out of an abundance of caution. As for the missing fasteners, Airbus local chief wing engineer Neil Firth says the panel was a “secondary structure used to improve the aerodynamics of the plane” and that “there was no impact to the structural integrity or load capability of the wing, and the aircraft was safe to operate.”
Source: NY Post