According to a Daily Mail article, major U.S. airlines like American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines are grounding aircraft because they are uncertain about the validity of the safety certificates for engine parts.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European investigators are looking into AOG Technics, the company that sold the in-issue parts, for allegedly providing false safety certificates.
Additionally, it looks like the business is being operated by a skilled con artist and may not even be real.
According to Bloomberg, AOG Technics may have created fake workers by utilizing stock photos on LinkedIn.
The FAA has so far discovered AOG-supplied parts in 126 engines from various airlines, working with European organizations.
CFM56 engines, which are frequently found in both 737 MAX and Airbus A320 aircraft—aircraft that are essential to international flight operations—are the most affected.
The discovery might have very negative effects for both the airline industry and its authorities, who are in charge of enforcing strict safety regulations to guarantee that all aircraft components, particularly those found inside the engine, are suitable for flight. According to reports from the Mirror, the questionable components include anything from necessary turbine blades to simple screws and bolts.
Notably, several of these parts appear to have been produced by industry behemoths General Electric and Safran, both of whom are currently suing AOG Technics.
In September, Safran CEO Olivier Andriès acknowledged his confusion, saying, “It’s a bit strange that a phantom company can be allowed to supply spare parts with false certification documents.”
According to the lawsuit brought by General Electric and Safran, TAP Air Portugal’s engineering and maintenance teams’ attention to detail allowed the problem to be discovered in June.