Monday Insight – September 25, 2023

Bogus Counterfeit Airliner Parts:
What Is The FAA Plan?

At least four airlines have discovered that some engines have parts with forged airworthiness certificates installed on their airliners.

The details are now growing, but the real issue is how the supply chain was invaded successfully by a fly-by-night front company with a vapor address in the UK.

We are not talking about flush handles for the economy-cabin lavatories. It involves things like turbine blades, according to reports. Serious stuff.

The investigation of this scandal will not stop here, unless the DOT and FAA determine that they are materially responsible (which they are) for this massive and safety-related scandal.

The questions are natural to include whether there are other areas where the sanctity of airworthiness certification has been compromised. It is indeed an international scandal. But it illuminates a ghastly hole in regulation.

The natural conclusion will likely be that the airline industry is at fault. But that’s nonsense because for these carriers the airworthiness regulations and processes are the entire responsibility of the Federal Aviation Administration.

If bogus parts get through, there is a giant hole in the security system. Airlines depend on the FAA to assure this. To blame the airline is the equivalent of blaming a consumer for eating bad food that was mis-approved by the FDA.

The conclusion is that the aviation industry cannot rely on the FAA – and neither can the public.

This is yet another reason that the FAA needs to be run and completely rebuilt by aviation management professionals, not politically chosen candidates vetted by the likes of Senator Chuck Schumer and Mayor Pete.

Let’s see how things develop over the next few weeks.