Plane Is Held Together By “Duct Tape”

November 25, 2009

in Passenger Stories

“This is one of those things, that sounds worse than it is…” Has anyone ever said that to you? Does it ever make you feel better after they’ve told you the information? Well, this is one of those stories…

So I was in the USAF, and was heading home to see family from Little Rock to RDU. I was getting on a packed plane, and took an aisle seat next to this lady who thought “splash” of perfume meant to get in a tub, marinate, and splash it around. She lets me know that she wanted my seat to be free so that she’d have a place to put her books, purse, etc… Obviously it was a packed flight, so what can I do about it? She started slamming things around, and then said she wanted to sit in the aisle so she could stretch out her legs. I traded with her because I just wanted her to stop whining. She kept on being rude through a 30 minute delay and was getting louder. Eventually I had enough and was going to say something rude, but while I was making that decision I happened to be looking out the window.

Now, this is where the “it sounds worse than it is” moment comes in. Have you ever heard of Aluminum tape? It’s a very strong tape that’s made of a thin sheet of aluminum. It’s very tough stuff. I see that a fastener was covered in about a 2 x 3 inch piece of this Aluminum tape, and I start slowly shaking my head. “You see? They just don’t care about safety.” She asks what I’m talking about, and I point out the tape. I tell her it’s Duct Tape, and airlines use it to hold parts of the plane together. She rolls her eyes, and tells me that I’m full of “poopies.” Then I tell her that I’m an Aircraft Mechanic in the USAF (I am). She takes another look out the window, looks at me, and as if the Captain was reading my mind, we began to Taxi. He shoots, he scores! She was silent for the entire flight.

Just in case you are wondering, the tape was still there when we landed.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex November 26, 2009 at 9:35 am

Is this common practice? & what exactly do you mean fastener? A nut??


uhhuh November 28, 2009 at 2:54 am

why are the tags “odor” and “seat” on this?

not that it would have made the story funny or anything….cause it was not at all funny.


Jojo November 28, 2009 at 8:28 am


Hmm… looks to me like the odor tag had something to do with the perfume the lady marinaded in and the seat tag with the ladys demands to switch seats. Maybe you're confusing tags with categories. Tags are used for describing sections of a blog.

I got a laugh out of the story but to each their own.

Seems to me you've got a negative personality disorder.


BlueMole December 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm

While business traveling from PHL to SLC with a tight connection in ORD, I witnessed a mechanic doing the same thing on a wing. He needed about 6 – 8 inches of tape, would carefully measure, than drop the tape, crawl slowly down the ladder to retrieve it, and crawled slowly back up. This happened 3 times. It was very disconcerting to watch. They could have gotten him a spotter! The captain then came on and said they were using this "special 500 mph tape", as a little buzz was going on in my section of the plane. It sure looked like duct tape to me. I stared at it almost the whole way. Got to ORD and made my connection from A1 to B3 in 10 mins. Whew! They slammed the door at the gate in my face, but I was able to get on. Thankfully the plane was empty and I just flopped in a seat and we pushed back. The next flight was 6 hrs later. The FA's were cool, gave me free drinks!


Kad December 15, 2009 at 5:16 pm

I thought the story was hilarious. There is absolutely nothing finer than treating a prima donna to a dose of 'pretend' reality.

Can't park your books down comfortably next to you honey? Don't worry, if that tape doesn't hold, there will be plenty of 'down' to park all our stuff in.


Don August 4, 2010 at 8:39 am

Hey AF…first

Thank you for serving


I would have said "Holy crap look at that tape on nthe wing….it's only spec'd to 100 mph…and start saying a prayer

As she contemplated that…she would probably shut up or faint

A retired ETACC


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