I have a question regarding the canoes, I think that's what they are called, on the trailing edge of the B727 wing. They are the somewhat pointy pieces of metal on the underside of the wing. At work yesterday I noticed a B727 being prepared for an outbound flight that was missing one of these pieces. I noticed it a mile away. I asked a mechanic who was working the trip if they were going to dispatch the aircraft with the piece missing. We said yes they were, and it was quite common to fly these planes with one of these parts missing. I'm assumng this is due to lack of spares. He said the resulting drag and is almost nil.
Can any of you A&P's or pilots out there tell me if this is a common practice? If it is, what are the effects of flying with one of the canoe covers missing. Thanks!