(Boursier.com) — The AOG Technics affair continues to be talked about in the aeronautics sector. Saffronthrough the voice of its general director, confirmed that suspicious parts were found on around 100 aircraft engines, while the scandal surrounding this unknown British company which supplied components with falsified certificates for the most used in the world is gaining momentum.
Speaking to AJPAE, the French aeronautical and space media association, Olivier Andries said the company had no prior relationship with the London-based company and was only alerted to the problem by the intermediary of an air operator. “When you think about it, it’s a bit strange that a ghost company can be allowed to supply spare parts with fake certification documents,” the DG said. “Lessons will have to be learned” from this affair, he added, according to comments reported by ‘Bloomberg’.
The spread of undocumented or potentially counterfeit parts through the engine supply chain is rare and treated with the greatest urgency in an industry where every component requires verified provenance to ensure aircraft safety. In particular, it is impossible to know whether non-certified parts will also be durable under stress.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday warned airlines and others in the industry that AOG was inappropriately selling bushings for a type of engine from CFM International, the joint venture between General Electric and Safran, which makes the engines many older generation Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s. The alert, known as the Unapproved Parts Notification, is the first formal warning to the U.S. aviation industry about the potential risks posed by thousands of aircraft engine replacement parts sold with false airworthiness documents by AOG.
European regulators had already warned against parts supplied by the British company. “We do not know to whom they sold these parts and if all the airlines have carried out their checks,” said Safran Olivier. “I can’t tell you what I don’t know.” AOG Technics also sold bushings for GE’s CF6 engine family without approval from the engine manufacturer, distributing parts with falsified documentation, according to the FAA notice. This engine has been used on a number of widebody aircraft, including older versions of the 747.
Airlines, maintenance providers and regulators around the world have been scouring their records for parts supplied by AOG after European authorities determined in August that the group had supplied the suspect components. “Numerous certificates of authorization for placing into service of parts supplied through AOG Technics have been falsified,” the European Union Aviation Safety Agency said. In each case, the organization identified as the manufacturer “confirmed that it had not produced the certificate and that it was not the author of the part”, underlined the EASA.
On another note, Olivier Andries confirmed that the situation was far from returning to normal on the supply chain side: “we remain in a difficult situation with regard to the supply chain. The problems do not are not resolved and will last until 2024,” he said. The pressure is particularly strong on supplies of titanium and steel, which contributes to inflation in the sector, according to the manager.