WHEN flying, have you ever noticed minor defects like peeling paint on the wings of the aircraft you are boarding?
You might have also seen what seemed like duct tape, being used to cover such spots, which might be of concern to some.
This raises the question – is it common practice for airline maintenance crews to use tape to fix defects on aircraft?
What you see is called "speed tape" and is a common tool used in the aviation industry, mainly to fix minor defects.
It is a heavy-duty material made of aluminium, designed for temporary and minor repairs involving high-speed applications.
Speed tape is also resistant to heat, water, solvent and chemicals.
It is used only on non-structural components such as peeling or flaking paint on the metal body of aircraft.
It is common for the paint to be damaged over time due to exposure to the UV ray from sunlight.
The issue first gained attention when on Sept 22 last year Australian opera singer David Wakeham shared a photo on Twitter showing the wing of an airplane covered with patches of silver tape – which later went viral.
"When choosing your favourite airline choose wisely. Profits before safety," he wrote in the post.
The issue made its way onto other social media platforms such as Facebook and Reddit, fuelling much speculation.