26 Sep 2023 -
 Defence

Fake jet parts scandal continues to plague airline industry

Aviation

Thousands of aircraft parts are now in doubt after London-based broker AOG Technics was found to have sold counterfeit documentation with false origins. The scandal has sent shockwaves through the aviation industry, with airlines and regulators scrambling to identify and remove affected parts from service.

“Are the parts airworthy? We do not know,” said Andries, who was speaking during a meeting of the French Association of Aerospace Journalists, reported Aviation Week. “Where are the parts? It is up to the carriers to investigate.”

Regulators, airlines, and parts suppliers worldwide are in a frenzied race to trace potentially bogus components as the AOG Technics scandal spreads from the United States to Australia.

CFM International, GE Aerospace, and Safran, the manufacturers of the affected parts, have been working with regulators since mid-June to unravel the tangled web of illegal sales. The FAA and EASA have required operators to survey engines that went through maintenance operations and check if any parts were delivered by AOG Technics. If so, the engine must be removed from service. Thus far, 96 engines have been identified as including suspect parts.

The issue of counterfeit documents is also impacting GE Aerospace’s CF6 turbofan fleet. Last week London’s High Court gave AOG Technics 14 days to produce documentation on the broker’s purchases and sales of CFM56 and CF6 parts. 

Reacting to the situation, the FAA has strongly recommended that if any aircraft owner or operator identifies these unauthorized CF6 bushings, they should immediately remove and subsequently quarantine these components.

It is thought that thousands of suspect parts have been linked to records by airlines and maintenance shops in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, North America, and South America.

The scandal has raised serious concerns about the airworthiness of the affected aircraft. It is unclear how many counterfeit parts are still in service, and whether they pose a safety risk. In the meantime, airlines and regulators are taking steps to mitigate the risks.

In addition to the safety concerns, the scandal has also highlighted the ongoing challenges facing the aviation supply chain. Supply chain issues are persisting in new engine production, and are expected to last throughout this year and 2024. Problems can be found especially in forging and casting activities facilities.

The aviation industry is resilient, and it is likely to overcome the current challenges. However, the scandal at AOG Technics is a reminder of the importance of vigilance and transparency in the supply chain.

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