Video of loose wing screw on Air China’s Boeing 737 flight goes viral, airline responds

Air China has responded after a video from a passenger went viral and said it had fixed loose wing screws on one of its Boeing 737 NG passenger aircraft.

Video of loose wing screw on Air China’s Boeing 737 flight goes viral, airline responds

An Air China passenger on flight CA1921 from Beijing to Hengyang recorded a video if loose wing screw and posted on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. The post went on to become viral, prompting the airline to issue a statement. Air China said it had fixed loose wing screws on one of its Boeing 737-NG passenger aircraft. “Air China attached great importance to the loose screws in the inboard canoe fairing of the left flap of Air China flight CA1921 shared on the internet, and immediately inspected the relevant parts of the aircraft, repaired the loose screws, and checked the relevant fleet,” the statement said, as mentioned by the South China Morning Post.

A video clip of the problematic fairing during flight was shared widely online and the topic went viral. As per the aviation experts, the part where the screw was located is mainly used to regulate the airflow, helping reduce drag and save fuel. The screw is fixed in the inboard canoe fairing of the aircraft and is used to fix the flap track fairing tail cones, which are a part of the inboard canoe fairing.

“According to personal maintenance experience, there are two reasons for this problem,” Qiu Qing, an aviation blogger with more than 300,000 followers, posted on Weibo. “One possibility is that the supporting target in the fairing was broken; another possibility is that the screws were loose due to long-term vibration at this position.”

However, the airline has not given any official explanation as to why the screw was loose or whether it could affect flight safety. It is acceptable to take off without up to two flap track fairing tail cones, according to the configuration deviation list (CDL) of the Boeing 737-NG.

Although considered safe, the Chinese aviation industry saw a couple of plane crashes in the last few months, one being the unfortunate crash involving a China Eastern Airlines aircraft that crashed in the southern Guangxi province of China in March. 

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