United Airlines is the latest airline to confirm the discovery of fake parts in its aircraft engines. On September 18, United Airlines confirmed finding dubious parts in a single engine on two of its planes. According to its spokesperson, the airline is replacing these parts before the planes can fly again.
The fake parts discovered were compressor stator vanes, a component responsible for directing airflow inside the engine.
The airline’s disclosure makes United the latest major carrier to confirm substandard parts in their aircraft. Both Southwest Airlines and Virgin Australia confirmed that AOG supplied them with questionable spare parts that come with falsified airworthiness documents.
On September 8, Southwest discovered a faulty pair of low-pressure turbine blades installed on one of the airline’s Boeing 787 NG planes. A day before the incident with United’s aircraft, Virgin Australia suspended two Boeing 737-800 planes. And the reason is the same. The Australian airline also found engine parts with falsified documents.
Virgin Australia first discovered an issue with the low-pressure turbine blade on one of its aircraft. And then, the company discovered a separate issue with the inner high-pressure turbine nozzle on another plane.
Fake Parts Circulating Worldwide?
On September 8, a lawsuit was filed by CFM International against UK-based AOG Technics. CFM International is a venture of General Electric and Safran SA. It claims that 68 jet engines were fitted with parts that have fake documentation.
According to CFM’s spokesperson, “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.”
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency identified parts that came with forged documents including turbine blades. CFM spokesperson said “We remain fully engaged with aviation regulatory authorities to support their investigations into AOG Technics, and we continue to work with our customers to assess the authenticity of documentation for parts they acquired directly or indirectly from AOG Technics.”