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.