Hey guys, new to the forum and looking for some input on a recent observation i made during a flight on a 737-700.
I just returned from a trip to Disney World and flew with a certain airline (which i'm not sure i can mention here) from my home in Rhode Island (PVD
) to Orlando (MCO
), but noticed something peculiar with the plane.
I've recently become interested in planes so i was really looking forward to flying. Before i boarded the flight i took note of the tail number and looked it up on http://www.planespotters.net/
and discovered it was a 737-700 manufactured in 1998, which set my mind at ease since i knew this particular airline had some old beaters in its fleet.
I ended up finding a seat a few rows behind the wing and barely had any time to get settled in before it was being pushed back from the gate. However, upon taxiing to the runway i noticed the inboard flap track fairing vibrating very violently left and right whenever there was a bump or crack on the pavement, getting even worse as it was holding short of the runway when the engines were given some power. But i figured it was normal (even though it didn't feel or sound it) figuring the crew knew what they were doing, so i just sat back and enjoyed the takeoff.
But about 20 minutes into the flight (after the flaps were retracted) i noticed a large band of paint had been stripped away from the inner edge of this fairing, revealing the dented bare metal beneath it. At this point the fairing was no longer vibrating but i could clearly see the damaged area. I turned to my female passenger and asked her what to do, but just got the "evil eye" suggesting i just shut up and not say anything to anyone. I also knew there was another connecting flight after that one, meaning the plane was going to land in Orlando and connect to Southwest Florida right after. So, i just stared at the thing the rest of the flight until it got too dark outside to see anything.
But when the flight landed and as i was leaving the plane, i peaked into the cockpit and told the co-pilot what i had seen. I had taken pictures of the fairing with my camera when it was still light out and showed him the damage. He didn't seem "too" alarmed but said he'd take a look at it. So that was that, and i went on my way at least knowing someone knew about it (even if it was nothing).
When i got settled i my hotel that night i checked FlightAware's flight tracker and noticed that the connecting flight to Southwest Florida had taken off over an hour later than it was supposed to. I know there were severe thunderstorms that night so i'm not sure if the delay was because of weather or because they checked the fairing?
So that's why i'm here.... Do you guys think this is normal? Here are the pics i took.
I looked online for pictures of 737NG fairings but none of them showed this type of damage. Either way, I can’t imagine this damage would be acceptable? The paint is chipped and the metal is literally dented, very close to the rivets as well. How could the fairing be chipped and dented in this spot? Could it be related to the vibration I noticed on the ground?
I wanted to compare the fairings to the plane we took home today, but this time it was a 737-300 which has a whole different wing fairing design- the –300 fairing had NO vibration and actually has a track where the flaps extend. Here it is, perfectly normal:
So what do you guys think about the 737-700 fairing damage? Any and all input is appreciated!