REMARKS / Unapproved parts scandals in aviation – Considerable danger posed though cost motivation seems to be compelling for the perpetrators. Article this week: “Pratt Reveals Faulty Testing”. Criminal prosecution order included in “New Rules & Decisions” next Wednesday: U.S. v. Weygandt prosecution of 6 employees of WECO Aerospace Systems, Inc. and its former president for alleged intentional non-compliance with FAA rules on repair and overhaul of airplane parts. COMMENT: Financial pressures on airlines, charters and corporate operators are acute. This is a perennial problem that shows no sign of going away.

Wall Street Journal piece by highly regarded aviation reporter Andy Pasztor: “Pratt Reveals Faulty Testing” (March 4, 2013 article here). 

“United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney unit disclosed it has broken up an alleged fraudulent-testing scheme by a sister United Technologies unit, affecting tens of thousands of engine parts used on popular business jets and turboprop aircraft flown by airlines around the world.[Emphasis supplied]”

U.S. v. Weygandt, whose order severing the trial of the former president from that of the other 6 defendant-former employees is addressed next week in “New Rules & Decisions”, and the court’s opinion is available here.

Practical take-away:

Unapproved, “phony”, aircraft and engine parts pose a perennial and persistent threat to the aviation industry.

I think this problem is more about alert FAA and U.S. Department of Justice enforcement, and compliance management, than it is about legal doctrine.