Imagine booking a flight and then sitting down at your seat to find your window taped up around the edges.
Passengers of various flights over the past several weeks have posted photos on social media, expressing concern for their safety.
So we decided to take those concerns to a local aviation maintenance expert to verify if tape around the window is really cause for concern.
We sat down with Jim Rue, an aviation maintenance instructor at the National Aviation Acadamy in Clearwater.
“I’ve been in the airline industry for 35 years and worked on everything from 737s to 757s to A319’s and A320’s,” said Rue, who says he’s worked on his fair share of aircraft windows over the years.
He says tape surrounding the window on a commercial airliner is not holding the window in place or there to seal up leaks.
“It could be a little bit nerve-racking to see that, but it’s not a safety issue, it’s a cosmetic issue,” said Rue of the social media photos. “That panel is just the interior wall panel. That has no structural purpose at all. It’s just to make the inside of the airplane look nice. It doesn’t attach to the actual window and the fuselage like the main windows would attach.”
We described another photo showing what appears to be tape on the outside of the aircraft around the cockpit window.
“Sometimes the windows are sealed with a PRC sealant," he said. "Sometimes the sealant doesn’t cure and in an ample amount of time so they are authorized to put a piece of Mylar tape over there to keep the sealant from blowing out until it cures.”
He says the tape is in no way to keep the aircraft pressurized or the window in place. Sometimes aircraft maintenance technicians might use what’s called “speed tape” to cover up a dent in the aircraft’s exterior.
He says this is a special procedure approved by the FAA using special tape also approved for use on commercial aircraft.
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