Massive Safety Fraud Grounds Dozens of Planes

( – United Airlines had a temporary grounding of their airplanes on Thursday, October 5th after some concerns were raised about fraudulent safety certificates for engine parts. Additional airlines including Southwest, American, and Delta were also affected.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European officials were concerned that AOG Technics may have sold engine parts to the airlines with fraudulent certifications.

Some confusion arose after a middleman acquired the parts and facilitated their sale to the airlines. AOG was also under scrutiny for having fake employees on its website featuring stock photos instead of real people.

Investigators have found AOG parts in 126 planes so far, across several airlines. The engines most likely to have the questionable parts are model CGM56s which keep 737s and Airbuses in the air. These are incredibly common aircraft.

The news could be devastating for the airline industry which has suffered numerous financial setbacks since the pandemic.

Regulators are concerned that fake safety certificates may have been used to get parts into airplanes that weren’t up to standards. The parts range in purpose from screws, nuts, and bolts, to engine blades. The parts themselves tend to be manufactured by other companies. General Electric is suing AOG along with French aerospace firm Safran over the controversy.

Safran CEO Olivier Andries called AOG a “phantom company” and suggested it was bizarre that they were somehow able to sell airplane parts using fake certifications.

In their lawsuit against AOG, the companies indicate that they first discovered the problem in June after TAP Air Portugal maintenance teams scrutinized the paperwork and found it to be fraudulent.

Investigators revealed thousands of parts were sold with potentially fake safety certifications by AOG back in September. The London-based firm was ordered to hand over all its paperwork pertaining to sales of parts so they could be tracked and replaced.

AOG was incorporated in 2015 by Jose Zamora Yrala who has not commented on the scandal since the story broke earlier this summer.

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