The bogus jet-engine parts supplied by a UK company under investigation for fraudulent documentation included turbine blades, a crucial component of an aircraft’s propulsion system.
(Bloomberg) — The bogus jet-engine parts supplied by a UK company under investigation for fraudulent documentation included turbine blades, a crucial component of an aircraft’s propulsion system.
“Maintenance organizations have reported examples of turbine engine blades supplied by AOG Technics without valid airworthiness documentation,” the European Aviation Safety Agency said in a response to queries from Bloomberg News. “While this is a matter for concern, to date there have been no reports of problems resulting from the suspect unapproved parts.”
The risk that turbine blades with falsified origins may have made their way onto the world’s most popular passenger-jet engines underscores the urgency with which regulators and industry players are scouring their records for parts supplied by London-based AOG Technics. Until now, regulators hadn’t identified any specific parts.
Bloomberg News reported last week that European aviation regulators had determined that AOG Technics supplied parts of unknown origin for repairs of CFM56 jet engines. EASA said at the time that in every suspect case it had examined, the documentation had proved to be false.
The proliferation of undocumented parts has sent shock waves through an industry where every component requires verification to ensure aircraft safety. Without such assurance, it’s impossible to know whether uncertified parts will be as durable under stress.
The fact that turbine blades are among the fake parts that supplied suggests the potential for costly and even dangerous consequences. They play an integral role in the operation of jet engines, operating at high temperatures and under tremendous amounts of pressure. Over the years, engine-makers have developed alloys and coatings that are engineered to handle such conditions.
The parts supplied by AOG went into engines that power many older-generation Airbus SE A320 and Boeing Co. 737 planes, by far the most widely flown category of commercial aircraft.
CFM56 engines are manufactured by CFM International, a General Electric Co. and Safran SA joint venture. The companies have been assisting in the investigations by EASA, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority and other regulators. CFM declined to comment.
AOG Technics and its owner, Jose Zamora Yrala, didn’t respond to requests for comment.
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