I dug up this video I shot back in December ’04 when I was aboard an Air Deccan flight from Bangalore to Mumbai. Looked out my window and what did I see, A group of guys repairing the wing with some sort of muthafcukin’ duct tape. There’s some more repairs to the left of the one they are working on with what seems to be the same technique. Crossed my fingers, tossed back a shot of Black Label, and stayed on the flight. [Link]
p>Honestly, I probably would have reacted the same way, sans Black Label. It looks like a typically desi “Kam Challao” scene – equal mixtures of ingenuity and utter disregard for the principles of safety, like a bus patched together with baling wire, careening down a Himalayan road.
p>However, looks can be deceiving. This isn’t a 19th century desi solution, it’s a thoroughly modern one. As the comments on Turbanhead reveal, that isn’t duct tape it’s “Speed tape” – it’s specially formulated for use on airplanes (and racing cars and possibly even nuclear reactors). Those employees were actually doing what they would have in any first world airport!
“What you see is the perfectly safe and legal application of some heavy-duty aluminum bonding tape, called “speed tape” in the mechanic’s lexicon. Depending on what a plane’s maintenance manual stipulates — according to the dictates of the FAA — certain noncritical components can be temporarily patched with this material, embarrassing as it sometimes looks. It’s extremely strong, durable, and able to expand and contract through an extreme range of temperatures…” [Link]
Here’s a similar story of a passenger freaking out after watching the application of speed tape on a plane in Seattle.
Poor desi aircraft workers – even when they’re using the most expensive, cutting edge products, we still suspect them of cutting corners and endangering our lives.