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Safran in Dark About Magnitude of Fake Jet-Engine Parts Case

US aviation regulators warned airlines and other industry players that London-based AOG Technics Ltd. improperly sold bushings for a longstanding type of General Electric Co. jet engine.


The alert, known as an Unapproved Parts Notification, is the Federal Aviation Administration’s first formal warning to the US aviation sector over the potential risks posed by thousands of spare jet-engine parts sold with forged airworthiness documentation by London-based AOG Technics Ltd.


AOG Technics improperly sold bushings for GE’s CF6 engine family without the jet-engine manufacturer’s approval, according to the notice. AOG sold the parts with falsified documents, the agency said. The engine has been used on a number of wide-body jets, including older versions of Boeing Co.’s 747 jumbo jet.


The notice reflects a small portion of the potential fallout. Regulators and companies, including GE and CFM International partner Safran SA, have identified dozens of falsified records accompanying the sale of parts by AOG Technics.


Only two of those documents were forged FAA records for CF6 components, CFM has said. Meanwhile, more than 76 European Aviation Safety Agency documents linked to the sale of CFM56 parts have been falsified. The CFM56 is the world’s best-selling jet engine and powers older 737 and Airbus SE A320 planes.


Most of the falsified documents are associated with commodity parts such as bushings and fasteners, a CFM spokesman said.


Airlines, maintenance providers and regulators across the globe have been scouring their records to hunt down AOG-supplied parts after European authorities in August determined the parts broker had supplied the suspect components.


The widening scandal has shaken an industry where safety is the guiding principle, with exacting standards for aircraft manufacturing and maintenance that demands each component be verified.


As many as 96 engines have been fitted with suspect parts from AOG, according to jet-engine makers GE and Safran. Airlines including United Airlines Holdings Inc., Southwest Airlines Co. And Virgin Australia Airlines Pty have found AOG parts in their fleets, and removed them.


This article originally appeared on Bloomberg

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