United Airlines is the latest carrier to confirm that it has discovered aircraft engines with dubious parts that could be linked to the UK supplier, AOG Technics.
United Airlines confirmed in a statement on September 18, 2023, that the concerning parts were found on a single engine of two aircraft.
One of the aircraft was already undergoing normal maintenance upkeep, but the carrier now plans to replace both of the engines.
According to Fortune, the parts were seals on compressor stator vanes that help direct airflow inside the engine.
United discovered the issue after being advised by suppliers of the potential problem with some engines.
United’s confirmation came a day after Virgin Australia also said two of its Boeing 737-800 jets were grounded due to the aircraft potentially being fitted with falsely documented engine parts.
A low-pressure turbine blade on one of its aircraft registered as VH-VUT was replaced last week and over the weekend it was found that an inner high-pressure turbine nozzle for an aircraft registered as VH-YFR also needed to be replaced.
On September 8, 2023, Southwest Airlines also announced an issue with a pair of low-pressure turbine blades on one of its Boeing 737 NG jets.
AOG Technics has been accused of providing fake components that have been used in 68 jet engines.
On September 7, 2023, a lawsuit against AOG Technics was filed in the UK by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric and Safran SA.
At the time, a spokesperson for CFM International said: “Safety is our first priority, and we are taking aggressive legal action against AOG Technics to accelerate the industry’s ability to identify parts sold by this third-party with falsified documentation.”
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”.
In a report by Bloomberg on August 31, 2023, the publication said that regulators had found that AOG had supplied parts for CFM56 engines, used in older-generation Airbus SE A320 and Boeing 737 planes.
No incidents have so far been linked to falsely certified parts and CFM is not affiliated with AOG.