I’m sitting in the lounge waiting to board this flight. Saw a dent in the attachment of tail wing to the body. Is this common?enter image description here

Also I could be wrong and it is part of the design of the airplane.

Any guidance is appreciated!


2 Answers 2


The aircraft in question is an Embraer ERJ 175 the "dent" allows the tail trim to operate properly you can see it more clearly in this picture.

enter image description here


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So why in the OP was the trim seamingly set to hard 'up'? (Before takeoff)? I would inform the pilot. $\endgroup$
    – Cloud
    Aug 30, 2018 at 10:46
  • 16
    $\begingroup$ @Cloud no, you would not inform them, because they have checklists to run (i.e., they know the setting) and they don't care about the setting on ground standing still at the gate. $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Aug 30, 2018 at 11:03
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @Cloud Unless I'm aware of 1) a checklist for this particular type and operator that requires the trim to be set to zero after landing, and, 2) that no walkaround was performed (in which case the pilot would surely notice), and 3) that the current trim is outside the allowable takeoff trim range with the to be loaded weight, and 4) that the problem has not been resolved with the before-takeoff checklist completed; I would personally never bother a pilot with this. You're more likely to distract a pilot than fix something covered by checklists and procedures. $\endgroup$
    – Sanchises
    Aug 30, 2018 at 14:45
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Cloud Would you also inform the pilot that likely, the flaps are not set for takeoff, or the cargo door not secured open, or the engines are shut down, or there are loose objects immediately in front of the engine intake, or or or ...? I've said it before, and I'll say it again: at some point, as passengers, we just have to accept that the professionals paid to do a job know how to do their job. Yes, even professionals sometimes make mistakes, but that doesn't mean that (a) people don't learn from those mistakes, and (b) any given professional will make a mistake the one time you fly. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Aug 31, 2018 at 11:04

Looking closely at the photo, that's an Embraer 175. I Googled other photos of the same model aircraft, and all of them have a similar flat surface. It appears to be a flat designed into the aft fuselage to accommodate trimming by moving the entire stabilizer ("tail wing") up and down at the leading edge.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you @Zeiss Ikon. I see the Embraer 175 printed now that you mention it. $\endgroup$ Aug 29, 2018 at 19:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 737's have the same thing. $\endgroup$
    – Davidw
    Aug 30, 2018 at 3:35

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