In what seems to be an example of promptness and great presence of mind displayed by one of the passengers on flight, a major mishap was avoided after Virgin Atlantic flight from Manchester to New York was cancelled just before take-off. The incident took place on January 15th aboard Flight VS127. According to New York Post, a 41 year old British Passenger noticed four fasteners missing while listening to the safety instructions. Soon he rushed to the cabin crew and brought the fact to the notice of the cabin crew. Engineers were informed who further did the needful to fix the technical issue.
Passenger recalls incident
The passenger was identified as Phil Hardy to spoke to the Kennedy News agency. He said, "I'm a good flyer, but my partner was not loving the information I was telling her and starting to panic, and I was trying to put her mind at rest as much as I could. I thought it was best to mention it to a flight attendant to be on the safe side.''
Reports said that the authorities had to cancel the flight since they were not sure how much time it would take to identify and completely solve the problem. As a matter of precaution the authorities believed that there was no point keeping the passengers waiting and hence cancelling the flight was the most appropriate step that they felt was needed to be taken at that moment.
Thorough investigation into the matter
Thorough investigation was conducted to understand the problem and it was found out that the tops of four out of the 119 fasteners on the wing panel were missing. It was later ascertained by the technical experts that despite the missinf fasteners, no passenger was at risk. The airplane manufacturer confirmed that an Airbus A330 has 119 fasteners and only four were missing.
The manufacturer further said that there was no direct impact on the structural integrity or load capability of the wing and the aircraft was safe to operate. However, the presence of mind of the passenger who brought the issue to the notice of the concerned authorities before the flight could take off is highly commendable considering the fact that its always better to be safe than being sorry. All the Passengers on the said flight were flown to New York on different flights.