The FAA notified the industry last month that a number of unapproved parts may have found their way into the maintenance and repair system when they were advertised on the Internet under the caption “65,000 military and commercial aircraft parts for sale.” An FAA investigation said Western Metal Products originally manufactured the parts under a licensing agreement with Boeing. The agreement between the two companies, however, ended in 2007.
An FAA suspected unapproved parts (SUP) investigation has found that National Precision Bearing, a division of Mechatronics and a distributor for Schatz Bearing Corporation products, publicly sold Boeing-designed bearings made by Schatz as suitable for installation on a type-certified aircraft.
Weinberg & Bell Group (WBG), based in Cleveland, Ohio, has acquired Londonderry, N.H.-based AeroRepair and Hemico for an undisclosed price. Founded in 1994, AeroRepair is an FAA-certified repair station specializing in the repair and overhaul of brake assemblies, wheel assemblies and landing gear for regional airlines, corporate operators and military aircraft. It also manufactures a line of replacement or modified aircraft parts under an FAA PMA certification and maintains a pool of rotable assets and critical aircraft components.
Partsbase, an online business-to-business parts locator service for the aviation, aerospace and defense industries, has acquired PMA Parts Finder (PPF). For the past 10 years the PMA Parts Finder computer program has been locating PMA parts and their holders. The output of the program can be directed to screen view or printed lists, machine-readable data files or, in the case of PMA holders, to address labels or mail merge data documents.
Three months ago the FAA issued an “Unapproved Parts Notification” for O-rings sold by Chatsworth Rubber and Gasket. Yesterday the owner of that company was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for selling uncertified rubber gaskets that were installed on Boeing 737s. Duane Lepire, 74, of Woodland Hills, Calif., was sentenced after pleading guilty last April to one count of fraud in the sale of aircraft parts.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued Preliminary Regulatory Impact Assessment for replacement parts. It reviews existing EASA Part 21 regulations pertaining to replacement parts and compares them with current FAA Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) regulations.
Parts counterfeiting presents a serious concern for manufacturers, and a California company has designed a technique to protect OEMs and operators. “About two percent of the 26 million parts installed on aircraft worldwide
are counterfeit; that’s roughly half a million parts, ranging from hardware to advanced electronics equipment,” Ben Jun, vice president of technology for Crypto- graphy Research, told AIN.
PMA manufacturers might have a harder time exporting their civilian aircraft parts due to a new International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR rule) issued by the State Department, according to the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.
The FAA is looking for comments from the industry on a revision of Order 8120.2, production approval and certification management procedures.
PMA manufacturers might have a harder time exporting their civilian aircraft parts due to a new International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) rule issued by the State Department, according to the Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA).
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