An airline passenger flying on Spirit Airlines recorded a TikTok video of the maintenance staff repairing the aircraft's wing with tape. It looks as if they are putting standard duct tape to patch up an issue, which worried the woman behind the camera. However, it's a totally normal process.
In fact, it's airplane speed tape used to help with minor repairs on a high-speed vessel. While it might seem troublesome to the average citizen, this tape is pressure sensitive and specifically designed for this type of use.
"I don't care if it is aviation airplane tape or nothing. The fact that you even have to tape the plane together, and then you're doing it while people are on the flight like we cannot see you," the content creator (@myhoneysmacks) said.
Im only flying southwest now 😤 #spirit #spiritairlines #plane #planecrash #cockpit #airline #flight #fly #scary #omg #mindboggling
The video, uploaded to TikTok on April 25, has received 1.6 million views with over 10.3K comments, and viewers agree that they don't think Spirit should have done that with people on board.
"Baby I would’ve RAN off the plane! And got my money back," one person replied.
Another wrote that they wouldn't take their eyes off that tape until they landed.
Though, this adhesive seems to comply with FAA standards and is a common practice in aviation.
What is speed tape on an airplane?
Speed tape is a heavy-duty adhesive that is used to patch up minor repairs for high-speed applications, which includes airplanes.
This form of maintenance is a standard practice in aviation.
Is speed tape FAA approved?
A spokesperson Federal Aviation Administration told the Washington Post that it is "safe to use."
According to Aviation for Aviators, this type of tool has aerospace certification and it is not duct tape, although it might look similar.
"Their fabrication standards meet Federal Aviation Administration rules and SAE aerospace material specifications," the website reads.
How much does speed tape cost?
Depending on the size of the roll, speed tape can cost anywhere between $500-$8,000.
This price point might be an indicator that it is different than standard duct tape, which costs a mere $4 at Walmart.
Is speed tape stronger than duct tape?
Monroe Aerospace reports that speed tape is typically thicker than duct tape. They also note that speed tape has a stronger adhesive, so that it can stay put on an aircraft to fix the minor repairs.