While on a WizzAir flight I noticed on the wing the patching marked in this image:

I'm just curious, not implying lack of safety or whatever else. Why the wing is patched that way? I mean why the two small patches, the apparently missing a bit of the cover, and...why the leftmost patch is between other parts?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Looks like a crack repair to me, or patching for some other kind of damage. $\endgroup$ – Simon Aug 14 '16 at 8:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Repairs on the left engine pylon visible on this video from HA-LXA. Also this one. $\endgroup$ – mins Aug 14 '16 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ Yikes! That aircraft was less than a year old when this question was asked. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Aug 15 '16 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @mins: in all honesty...I never asked what specifically happened to that exact plane (otherwise I'd have written it that way). I'm asking about general knowledge, reasons for patching a plane like that, if it's a typical work done on planes, etc. etc. No need to know if the plane had some specific problem in the past or what, just seeking knowledge. $\endgroup$ – motoDrizzt Aug 15 '16 at 16:02
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Looks like they are there from manufacture $\endgroup$ – Simon Aug 15 '16 at 21:03

I am not familiar with that particular aircraft but I would hazard to guess it is not a patch. I say this as I have never... in 20 years of aircraft maintenance... seen a patch that incorporated screws. If this were a patch for a crack in the sheet metal it would be rivets all the way around.

AC 43-13 standard practices is the general reference for skin structural repair although manufacturers will publish their own Structural Repair Manual with their own preferred methods. And certainly I have seen design Engineers come up with odd things to deal with AD's etc. But I have never seen screws used as a method for installing a patch.

So... I would say it is likely a designed in strengthening piece. It is also a single piece if you look at it carefully it contains a Joggle which makes it look like two separate pieces. A Joggle being a step in the metal to account for two different surface heights.

  • $\begingroup$ Correction... AC43-13 My fingers went back in time to my Navy days... $\endgroup$ – Howie Murray Aug 27 '16 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ You can edit your post directly for corrections, rather than using a comment. I've edited for you. $\endgroup$ – kevin Aug 27 '16 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ @HowieMurray This answer quite a bit, but not entirely. A "words of god" would be much appreciated, if you work in maintenance, maybe you could ask around? A thing that struck me even more than the screws are the total lack of a cover. As it seems from comments to my question that this could come right from production, and with all the cares companies take to develop a plane, I find really odd that there is no covering for that part and it's instead let in open vire. $\endgroup$ – motoDrizzt Sep 11 '16 at 11:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.