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... $\endgroup$ 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

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