"I don't believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape," said Miles in the Lost finale. This, however, isn't TV. This is a real airplane flying. And that's real duct tape. Heat tape. Updated

Would you fly in a plane with duct heat tape on its wing? My first answer was, sure, why not. But then, let's put it this way: If the mechanics left that on plain view, imagine what is hiding elsewhere in that plane. So, to answer the previous question: In a word, no. Would you?


Update: Some readers who are pilots are saying this is heat or speed tape, a much stronger aluminum-based tape approved by the FAA. Salon's old pilot in residence also says taped up planes are perfectly fine. But would you feel safe flying it? —BL

An Emirates' captain writes in with his verdict on the fly or no fly:

"I fly airplanes all the time with duct tape on it. We do that for years"

Obviously, he's referring to the heat tape.—JD

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