Duct Taped Airplane!

Duct Taped Airplane!

Duct Taped Airplane!, originally uploaded by malyousif.

Duct tape is a very versatile medium. It’s used to tape ducks up of course and other much more mundane things like securing airplane components…

Like this example in Gulf Air’s A320 (registration ER) I flew back on from Kuwait yesterday where it was used to hold the partition between the business and steerage classes and for a substantial time it looks from the frayed edges.

Gives passengers a lot of confidence that.


  1. Mr. H

    not surprised at all.. i’ve seen it before in flights to Egypt and Jordan as well.. i dont have any problem with the duct tape actually or the service, because if they’re that cheap and that crap, drop the prices already!! James Hogan must be having a blast now at Etihad don’t u think? 😉

  2. Anonymous

    سترة النجاة تحت المقعد… I hope it is not taped as well!

  3. Post

    Etihad is worse. Believe me. I flew with them to Morocco a few weeks ago and even though I was on business all the way, I wouldn’t want to repeat the experience.

    When I came back and wanted to get their frequent flyer card and add the miles I used, they insisted on not only getting the ticket, but also the little boarding card chits! I didn’t have those but did have the ticket and showed them the invoice and full payment, but that was not enough for them.

    So bad inflight service and even worse one on ground.

    They can go and stuff themselves for all I care, if I don’t transit AUH again for the rest of my life it would be too soon too! That airport must win the most pretentious in the world hands down!

    I would gladly fly Gulf Air any day, but would prefer KLM if I had a choice.

  4. Troy Z

    I do remember a humor magazine from the late 1980s called “Anything But Monday” that had a column of “Ever Notice / Ever Wonder” one-liners. One was: “With a little imagination, every problem in the world can be solved with duct tape.” Scarily enough in this case, the accompanying sketch cartoon showed a man with a roll of duct tape happily and confidently running toward an airplane crashed in the middle of a field.

    Theater geeks will also say the same thing about gaff tape. Always carry a reserve source of the stuff. Heck, maybe we all can help out the next time one travels in any kind of public transportation when we see obvious repairs in need of reinforcement. No harm in adding to it, quite the opposite! You get bonus points if you have the tape custom printed with the phone numbers and websites of the relevant regulatory agencies.

  5. ASKAD

    I swear its the exact same plane that i went on from Bahrain to Dubai yesterday morning, the panel was shaking. Most of Gulf Air’s planes are in very bad condition & i think they are rented not owned by them.

  6. Post

    Leasing aircraft is the norm in the industry. There is no need to expend huge capital if you can pay-as-you-go. Though if you are flush with cash, you can perceivably save by paying on the nose.

    I don’t agree with you that most GF planes are in bad condition, joking aside, their engineering department is quite good and the engineers quite conscientious about their job and fully realise the responsibility they bear.

    I’m not saying that just because I was one of them once!

    This thing is rather cosmetic really, but I chose to highlight it because even though it is cosmetic, to the uninitiated it might seem that the tape is actually holing the partition up! This is not the case obviously, it is more probable that the latch on the panel above the partition was inoperative, but the engineer or fitter was overenthusiastic in using that duct tape.

    Doesn’t excuse the fact that it should have been fixed promptly though. Passengers don’t see the outside of the plane, but do the interior and that worries them.

    I remember during the Lebanese war in the 80s having MEA 727s with bullet holes on the flying surfaces patched with duct tape. I swear to you I saw that with my own eyes! I even remember a captain doing the walk-around check before departure with a roll of duct tape held in his hand, just in case he notices another hole that needs to be patched before getting airborne!

    Ahhh, the days of working on the ramp! :silly:

  7. ;)

    Looks like aluminium tape to me.
    As far as I know, aluminium tape is used for these purposes on aircrafts 😉

  8. anonymous

    Mahmood have you ever tried flying in one of their Boeing 767 which are now considered to be in the dinosour ages in airline industry standards, its nothing compared to the A320’s, the interior is shabby and the seats colors are fading, and the most enjoyful thing is the noise that you hear during the flight ….. Gulf Air really needs to reconsider its aircraft interior especially the economy cabin the seats colors are horrible (farg ilsima wil arth 3an 6ayarat ilQatariya) …… and the duct tapes 3ad mt3awdeen …… الله يرحم ذيج الايام يوم طيران الخليج صج كانت تقدم خدمات الصقر الذهبي

  9. Salman

    It is not a surprising thing my dear brother. I am a student who studies aircraft engineering, and GF have been nice enough to provide me with a summer experience placement, so i may learn with my hands. And i have seen alot of bad things on their planes. But, i must give them credit on this, they work their hardest to keep the aircrafts safe and flying whithin the rules of the EASA.

    You would be surprised if i told you that the cabin, sitting above your head, is merely suspended by velcro. It holds, very very well. Some aircrafts have bolts holding them, others velcro stips. The floor you walk on, is a sandwitch of 3cm honeycombe between 2 4mm sheets of soft plastic, and yet, it holds all our weights together.

    GF have, by far, one of the highest qualities of aviation maintenance history. And, one of the cleanest records in Aviation history.

    Aircrafts dont need windows, its just someone we, as passengers, want. Although we spend most of our flight asleep.

    Many dont know this, but the whole flight is planned. They feed us, and keep us in our seats, eating, watching a movie, or asleep, and they try to keep the trolleys going back and forth through the alley, so none of the passengers keeps leaving his seat. If they group up by the toilets, then the center of gravity of the aircraft will also shift, and the engines will need a bit more fuel, since you will need to change the pitch.

    I promise you, GF, are dedicated towards their job. Its only natural, as Bahrainis, we always want more and more, yet we rarely appreciate the hard work and efforts.

    Thumbs up to GF, and keep up the great work.

  10. bankelele

    The image and comments are shocking because many of us have the impression (and always read that) that Mid East airlines – e.g. Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Gulf – always buy/ have the newest fleets of Boeings and Airbuses.

  11. Citizen Quasar

    MY FAA licensed mechanic buddy tells me it is aluminum tape or “duct tape for airplanes.” According to him it is a proper repair.

  12. josh


  13. billT

    I built aircraft engines for a living but rest assured we didnt use duct on them we used chewing gum. Safe flying Mahmood :biggrin:

  14. expat in Saudi

    Our contractual obligations require us to spend quite a lot of time on Saudi Arabian Airlines. You’ll forgive me if I can’t summon up a lot of sympathy for you guys over in Bahrain. Every Saudia flight is a new adventure. One time, all the overhead lockers were filled with already inflated life jackets! Duct tape is a frequent occurrence, as is pieces of the interior dropping off in flight. Planes are never clean, there is no alcohol (obviously) to aid your patience, and in flight entertainment is usually non existent (imagine that on a long haul to Singapore). When there is something to watch it is so heavily censored as to be unrecognisable! Local passengers never do as they’re told and the musical chairs that is necessary when people have boarded and realise who they are seated next to and don’t wish to be takes so long that you have to board the plane very early. I live for flights on our ‘any other airline’ turn!!!

  15. chedwick


    Aer Lingus is famous for using duct tape to keep the airbuses together– On one flight a door wouldn’t shut all the way and was making a little noise–they duct taped it real good, and we flew from JFK to Shannon, no troubles! That duct tape inspires confidence.

  16. John Sheeplay

    I must agree with mahmood on this one, the wost flight I ever undertook was with Etihad, although my thought was that the outfit would be good since it is new it turned out to be a nightmare.

    We were delayed out of Abu Dhabi for 5 hours, the staff was rude and when we finally got on-board the fancy new aeoplane it was as filthy as a nightmare would have it.

    I fly Gulf regularly and must admit that their aeroplanes are older than the other airlines in the region, however, I know from good sources that they are well maintained and I much prefer the atitude of the staff who on a parr are friendlier than the rest.

    The tape used in this case is an aeronautical/automotive aluminium masking tape. it is usually used to hide in non supportive structures, so i am not surprised to see it used here, on the contrary it shows that Gulf Air is on the ball when it comes to looking after its aeroplanes!

  17. Dinos Agellopoulos

    What is all this fuss al about, Been flying Gulf Air for the last 20 years, ups and downs yes, but must disagree with Mahmood’s blog.

    Gulf Air maintains it’s aircraft according to international Civil Aviation standards, duct tape on the inside of a cabin on a plastic compartment, is not what gets me worried, Gulf Air airplanes have always been in the best of shapes considering thier age and usage; however, the chairman of another airline down south though gives me concern, cowboyng his way around the industry like he did in Bahrain many years ago, that is why I’ll never step on an Etihad plane.

  18. Irene

    I’ve lived my whole life in Bahrain and the best airline to go on has been Gulf Air, never faced any serious problems with them. They might have long delays, but at least you know you’re safe when you finally get on board, because of how old their fleet is, there is constant maintnence. stop picking on the little things!

  19. Grant Cockson

    Gulf Air is a great outfit and whenever I fly out in the region or out, I choose them. They are safe, friendly and truly the original carrier of the region.

  20. Anonymous

    Duct tape is not approved for use on aircraft.
    Alluminiun tape “speed tape” is, but not in the cabin. It can produce a severe cut to the fingers. I would be more concerned about the loose seats, failed o2 drop-out, underfloor corrosion, bad wiring, time ex units, missing fasteners, the 7/16″ thick skin doubler, dirt bugs, etc,. When all the B767’s have been through SRT DUB they will be like new. Same for A330/340.

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  22. Post

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