The scandal surrounding falsely documented engine parts supplied to airlines by a UK-based company called AOG Technics shows no signs of slowing.
The number of airlines advising that their aircraft engines have been fitted with dubious parts continues to balloon with American Airlines the latest to report fake safety documents.
On September 21, 2023, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Unapproved Parts Notification (UPN) over a bushing part supplied by AOG Technics without FAA production approval.
The FAA said in the notification that associated documents of the parts were “falsified”.
“If these bushings are installed or found in existing aircraft parts inventories, the FAA recommends that they be removed and quarantined to prevent installation until a determination can be made regarding their eligibility for installation,” the FAA said in the notification.
It is understood that AOG supplied parts for CFM56 engines, used in older-generation Airbus SE A320 and Boeing 737 planes.
The CFM56 engine made by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric and Safran SA, is the world’s best-selling aircraft engine.
On September 20, 2023, at the High Court in London CFM International successfully argued for AOG Technics to release documents showing sales of any CFM56 and CF6 parts.
“We applaud the court’s ruling compelling AOG Technics to release documentation that will aid the industry in more rapidly identifying parts sold with fraudulent documentation so they can be promptly addressed,” CFM said in a statement following the court’s order.
The company added: “Safety is our first priority, and we are taking aggressive legal action against AOG Technics for selling unapproved aircraft engine parts with falsified airworthiness documentation. We remain united with the aviation community in working to keep unapproved parts out of the global supply chain.”
On September 22, 2023, Safran chief executive officer Olivier Andries spoke about the scandal rocking the aviation industry.
According to Fortune, Andries said the company had no prior relationship with AOG and only found out about the issue of fake parts when it was advised by an airline.
According to the CEO so far around 100 engines have been identified as containing concerning parts.
“When one thinks about it, it’s a bit strange that a phantom company can be allowed to supply spare parts with false certification documents,” Andries said.
Following the announcement that American Airlines had been affected by the scandal a number of aircraft were removed from service.
“We’ve identified the uncertified components on a small number of aircraft; each was immediately taken out of service for replacement. We’ll continue working with our suppliers and coordinating closely with the FAA to ensure these parts are no longer in our supply or otherwise in use on our aircraft,” American Airlines said in a statement.
United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, TAP and Virgin Australia Airlines have also announced that they have been affected by the scandal.
In August 2023, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) advised aircraft owners, operators, maintenance organizations, and distributors to inspect their records to “determine whether aircraft or engine parts have been obtained from AOG Technics, either directly or indirectly”.