UK firm 'sold falsified Boeing, Airbus engine parts'

Jet engine parts with forged documentation were supplied to airlines for the repair of Boeing and Airbus planes by UK company AOG Technics Ltd, according to an investigation by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The regulator sent a Suspected Unapproved Parts (SUP) to alert the owners and operators of planes for which the components could be used as well as maintenance organisations, and distributors. So far, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Virgin Australia have all said they have been affected by the incident.

The SUPs are being sold for use in the CFM56 jet engine including the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 ranges, as well as various military aircraft. The CFM56 is said to be the best-selling engine in commercial aviation history and is still widely used by airlines around the world.

According to the EASA, several CFM56 engine parts distributed by AOG Technics have been supplied with a falsified Authorised Release Certificate (ARC) and were of unknown origin.

“In each confirmed example, the approved organisation identified on the ARC has attested that the form did not originate from within their organisation, and the certificate has been falsified,” it said in a statement.

“To date, AOG Technics has not provided information on the source of the parts, or of the falsified ARCs,” continued the regulator, noting that it wants to determine whether other parts with falsified ARCs – which raises the possibility of unairworthy parts being used in service – have been supplied.

A Reuters report notes that thousands of parts may have been distributed, and CFM International, the manufacturer of the CFM56 engine, has filed legal action against AOG Technics accusing it of engaging in a "deliberate, dishonest and sophisticated scheme to deceive the market with falsified documents on an industrial scale."

According to a recent article in the British Journal of Criminology, as much as 10% of the legal market for aircraft parts are counterfeits and the presence of these parts on commercial aircraft is “more commonplace than many people realise.”

The EASA has urged organisations in the industry to check and report the use of any SUPs, and said that it “might take further action as a result of the ongoing investigations.” The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is also investigating the case.

Photo by Daniel Eledut on Unsplash

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