On July 7, a video that captured a wing screw missing and another loose on Air China flight CA1921 went viral on the Internet, attracting attention from abroad.
The flight that day departed from Beijing to Hengyang, Hunan. According to Xiaoxiang Morning News, on July 7, a passenger of the flight sitting near the left wing of the plane filmed a video showing that a screw in the plane’s wing had fallen out.
At 10 o’clock that night, the official Weibo page of Air China posted a notice about the phenomenon of loose screws on the plane’s left wing of flight CA1921. Air China (then) inspected the plane’s relevant components and replaced the loose screws.
NetEase reported that senior captain Chen Jianguo said in the video that this part is the joint of the plane’s flaps, and inside is the plane’s flap support. According to the 737NG series composition list, the absence of one or two screws in the tail end of the outboard coupling does not affect flight safety.
Aircraft engineer Zhang Lei (pseudonym) told The Paper that the leading cause of the screw loosening was the plane’s strong vibrations. “It’s not a problem to remove a regular screw. The concern in this incident is whether the remaining screws are loose.”
Regarding the impact of the screws falling out, Qin Ming (pseudonym), a former senior maintenance engineer of the airline, said the most serious scenario is the screw falling out and hitting other parts of the plane.
Qiao Shanxun, General Secretary of the Expert Committee of Henan Aviation Industry Association, said that loose screws would not directly lead to disaster, but this is also an unusual and completely avoidable situation.
Engineer Zhang Lei said it would be hazardous for details such as screws and bolts to loosen during flight. If they fell at the airport, they could be sucked in by the plane’s engine.
Epoch Times compiled several people’s comments with different views from the authorities. A net user with an account named “Kevin in New York” said: “Many comments say that this problem has nothing to do with whether the loose department is important or not. But the key point is that the screw that fell off was not discovered by the airline itself but by the passenger who recorded the video; this is the key point. This will inevitably lead to doubts about Air China’s aircraft maintenance and flight safety.”
User “Nan Zhuweng” said, “In the video, the screw was not only loose but also lost! But Air China’s response only mentioned the screw was loose; it didn’t mention that it fell out. I feel they are covering something up, completely not addressing the issue in a righteous way. Moreover, all the media and relevant regulators have been pretending not to see the fallen screw, with Air China openly lying.”
Internet user “Freedom 1994,” said: “From a screw, you can see the loopholes in management, eventually leading to a disaster, created step by step.”