CEO Michael O’Leary and his large appendage

A RYANAIR plane with 200 passengers on board had to turn back after tape used to patch up a pilot’s window came loose. Passengers watched in horror as ground crew put the tape around the edge of the windscreen shortly before take-off from Stansted, Essex, to Riga, Latvia. But the pilot aborted the flight after 20 minutes when the tape started to become loose and made disturbing noises.

Ryanair insists normal procedures were followed throughout, and there was no danger to passengers or crew.

But one passenger, Anthony Neal, 33, of Bromley, Kent, said: “We were kept in the dark, and were terrified. I could see guys taping in the windscreen with what looked like duct tape or gaffer tape. “We were in the sky, then the pilot said due to damage on the windscreen, we were going to have to turn back.”

Former pilot John Guntrip said: “This could have been disastrous, the pilot could have been sucked out mid-air if the window had come off.” A spokesman for Ryanair — whose boss is Michael O’Leary — said: “We do not comment on routine technical issues. All Ryanair flights operate in accordance with approved safety standards. Ryanair’s planes are built by U.S. manufacturer Boeing, and analysts speculate that costs could increase if it bought aircraft from another manufacturer. Lower costs might just be the deciding factor in any decision by O’Leary, who is known for applying controversial cost-cutting measures like charging for the use of toilets, standing passenger space and scrapping the roll of a co-pilot.

  1. Dallas says:

    Gaffer tape is the wrong kind. It’s not intended to stick too much which is why it’s used in studios. They should use commercial duct tape like Southwest uses.

  2. Jeroen says:

    “if it’s a Boeing, I’m not going”
    they should have bought Airbus!

    • jbenson2 says:

      Remember the first Airbus crash? It didn’t even get off the ground.

      Info and photos on the embarrassing A340-600 Airbus crash in Toulouse, France

      • jpfitz says:

        From the article you cited the pilots were clueless about this aircraft. They even removed a fuse to shut off an alarm warning of a problem. Idiots the lot of them.

  3. JimD says:

    Must have been “Aircraft Grade” Gaffer’s Tape – No ? At least they didn’t try Bailing Wire !!! But this is your FINAL WARNING: STAY OFF RYAN AIR !!!

  4. tursiops says:

    I took this company once or twice and I found it to be shabby, that’s why I stopped taking it. It seems I was right.

  5. Kent says:

    Was on a Air Canada flight about ten years ago where they’d used duct tape just about everywhere, it was holding baggage comparments closed, ceiling panels up, etc. After sitting two hours on the tarmac they brought the plane in and we’re shuffled to other airlines. Should be renamed Red-Green Airlines.

  6. abusdriver2320 says:

    Its called ‘speed tape’ and it is used all the time on aircraft. It looks like duct tape but it isn’t.

    Here are some pictures to show it in use. It looks like in this case the tape was directly in the airflow and came loose.


  7. Embraer says:


    Although I am quite sure that you are nothing more than a young derelict, with no real life experience or knowledge, I will reply, anyway.

    Are you at all familiar with the multitude of Airbus screwups and accidents? Or you just bashing an American manufacturer for something to do?

  8. abusdriver2320 says:

    I always love the Airbus V. Boeing debate. Its kind of like saying I like BMW’s over Mercedes or vice versa. Its in the eye of the beholder, or in my case, whichever pays me more to fly. I fly the Airbus for the airlines and the 737 for the Navy so I have experience in both.

    As for the 340 mentioned above, that was a perfectly good airplane that did exactly what it was supposed to do, it was the crew who found a way to destroy it. Same as the celebrated 320 crash in Habsheim, France in 1998. The plane did exactly what it was supposed to do.

    Lets not forget Boeing has had its share of plane problems itself. 737’s had a rudder hard over problem (US Air 427) in the 90’s or 777 engine rollbacks on short final- British Airways 38 at Heathrow.

    Both manufactures make beautiful aircraft that are great to fly and provide exceptional safety records. To say one is superior to the other is just ignorant.

    • Post #12- bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist CANNOT FIX this blog all by hisself, but tries nontheless says:

      busdriver==and yet no two different airplanes are the same? There must be certain pro’s and con’s to match up between the two aircraft? For your own expertise, you might consciously take note of these differences and from time to time try to sum them up? Just an intellectual exercise.

      • abusdriver2320 says:

        Sure there are differences, but to be sure, none of them are showstoppers that make one plane superior to the other.

        I find most arguments are made by Americans supporting the home team. I try to take a more objective view.

        Sidestick v. Yoke – Sidestick any day of the week- Airbus

        Vertical guidance- Boeing

        Instrument layout – Airbus

        The list could go on and on back and forth, but most of it would become arcane. It is my workplace therefore seat comfort, feet heaters and a place to eat my dinner would take a higher priority than horsepower and flight control architecture.

        • Post #20- bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist CANNOT FIX this blog all by hisself, but tries nontheless says:

          Well, even that short list is good to know. Vertical guidance as a safety issue would be important–but not if it is canceled/evened out by instrument placement also similarly important? I kinda go with you==if things are basically equal with differences only showing up in specially designed circumstances, then the ease of eating while in the seat does make all the difference. Being able to take a leak without hitting the raydome equipment was important in my day.

          Good stuff.

  9. SayWhat says:

    I’m glad the USAF uses 3M sealer for this instead of tape.

    I was on a refueling mission in a KC135 over the pacific. One of the planes we refueled was a prototype B1 bomber. I could see into the cockpit and the yellow sealant around the glass was very distinctive. Of course this was after the B1 project had been put aside at least as far as the public knew.

    After refueling the B1 went around and made a high speed pass past us. We were doing over 500mph and the B1 went by like a flash, suspect he was supersonic, but felt no shock wave. Amazing sight.

    I took pictures, not realizing the mission was classified the film was confiscated upon landing.

  10. skunkman62 says:

    i’m surprised this “trains good, planes bad” FUD showed up of JCD blog.

    i’m sure speed tape not duct tape was used around the window because the fillet seal was either was coming loose or damaged. the seal is there to provide aerodynamic transition between the airframe and the window frame. the seal is not a safety of flight issue and sealant has a cure time of 24 hours. so rather than grounding the aircraft and canceling flights to repair the seal the FAA or in this case EASA approved this temporary repair until the plane can return to a maintenance base to be properly repaired.

    the cockpit windows are bolted into the airframe. the glass has 3 to 5 layers of glass and plastic with each layer about 1/4″ to 1″ thick.

    WTF people?

  11. Rob says:

    Can I point out this is Ryan Air.

    They probably charged the passengers for the tape after they got off.

  12. Paul Term says:

    The epitome of cheap.

  13. sargasso_c says:

    That’s a ₤49 flight. Expensive by Ryanair standards.

  14. jescott418 says:

    Hey it beats the bubble gum they used to use. What do people expect for cheap fares? These second class Airlines come and go. This is just one reason why.

  15. Lou Minatti says:

    The people at are laughing over the fact that this is even a news story.

  16. Peppeddu says:

    This is the same RyanAir who refused to take customers who presented bogus IDs (like a hunting license or a monthly bus pass) right?

    The Italian government tried to force them to do so but they’ve threatned to pull out of Italy because of safety concern.

    Michael O’Leary is no more controversial than Adam Curry is, so let’s just look at RyanAir the safety record and compare it to more “conventional” airlines (Aeroflot anyone?)

  17. overtemp says:

    One hates to think about the other “repairs” which are still in place.

  18. The travel and hospitality sector is certainly known by get it done get it done quick and cheap – that is for sure
    Indeed the hotel industry is known as the “find the nickels on the floor” style of management
    Yet in Canada we hold “bush pilots” in the highest of regards
    I have news for you in the past for repairing wing spars on small aircraft good old fashioned Canada made hockey sticks were used for repairs that held- mind you only goalie sticks were proper
    I am sure worse repairs and quick fixes were made in the past – that passengers did not even know of
    Some vacation to look forward to

  19. Glenn E. says:

    Nobody mentioned Super Glue yet. When I was in the USAF, I worked in an Avionics Repair Shop, fixing navigational instruments, and such. All the gear were encased in little gray painted aluminum boxes. And the covers of these units, were kept on by quarter turn screws that when into nut-plates riveted into the corners. But these rivets tended to be a bit fragile. And from frequent loosing and refastening of the cover plates. The nut-plates would break off. The solution, rather than sending the units back to their maker, was to Super Glue the nut-plates into place. Which worked well enough for a time. But you could only get away with it, if the cover was held on by at least three good nut-plates (not glued). These weren’t hermetically sealed boxes. Their covers just kept out dirty and dust. The instrument bay they were mounted in, is waterproof and air tight. So it wasn’t like the boxes were exposed to high velocity air currents. And might pop their covers. So I couldn’t say how well Super Glue would work holding in a window. But it’s got to work better than sticky tape.

    What was interesting to me was to see just how big a bottle of Super Glue, the USAF could get. About five ounces. And you had to keep it refrigerated and sealed. Or it would evaporate away very fast. Each shop had one or two bottles of the stuff. But I never saw a can of Acetone, to get it off your hands. And the USAF was too cheap to prove disposable gloves, back then. So we’d be peeling globs of dried glue off our fingers for days.

    If you soaked the end of a cotton Q-tip swap with the glue. And held it up in a well air conditioned room. It will smoke and catch fire, in seconds. Something about the dryness of the air, causes this.


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