This is the moment when a terrified Air China passenger films screws on the wing of the plane he is on working themselves free at 35,000 feet.
The footage emerged from Air China flight 1921 from Beijing to Hengyang on Thursday, 7th July.
In the scene, one of the screws securing a faring has already disappeared while others are so loose they are rattling around in their holes.
The frightening scene later emerged on the Chinese social media site Weibo.
The video quickly did the rounds, forcing Air China to issue a statement trying to reassure their customers.
The PRC flag carrier said: “Air China attached great importance to the loose screws in the inboard canoe fairing of the left flap of Air China flight CA1921 shared on the internet, and immediately inspected the relevant parts of the aircraft, repaired the loose screws, and checked the relevant fleet.”
The airline failed to explain how the screws had become loose or whether the safety of the flight had been compromised.
But popular aviation blogger Qiu Qing wrote on social media: “One possibility is that the supporting target in the fairing was broken; another possibility is that the screws were loose due to long-term vibration at this position.”
A veteran pilot – Chen Jianguo – tried to play down the scare in local media.
He said: “It has no impact on safety if one or two screws on the fairing were loose. At the very least, even if there is no fairing, this will not affect safety.”
The plane in the footage is a Boeing 737 Next Generation, produced in the USA from 1996 to 2019.
It is not clear what year it dates from, but the website Planespotters.net says Air China’s Boeing 737s are 10 years old on average.
Air China’s only fatal accident to date was when flight 129 from Beijing to Busan crashed into a hill while trying to land at Gimhae International Airport during inclement weather, killing 129 of the 166 people on board the Boeing 767-200ER.