DALLAS- The World’s leading low-cost carrier, Southwest Airlines (WN), took precautionary measures by removing fake spare parts from a jet engine on one of its Boeing 737 aircraft after being alerted by its suppliers.
This move marks the first instance of a major airline publicly acknowledging the use of such parts in a commercial aircraft.
Southwest Tracks Down Fake Engine Parts
The carrier was informed by its suppliers, who had not initially identified the components as suspect, that there were questionable parts in an engine installed on a Boeing 737 NG.
Specifically, these components were a pair of low-pressure turbine blades sourced from AOG Technics. As a precautionary measure, Southwest Airlines decided to replace these components.
It’s worth noting that European aviation regulators had previously determined that AOG Technics supplied parts for the repair of CFM56 engines, which are among the world’s most widely used turbines, with falsified documentation, as reported by Bloomberg News last week.
US Pilots Fake Medical Records
According to a report from The Washington Post, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has undertaken an investigation concerning nearly 5,000 pilots suspected of manipulating their medical records.
The investigation revealed that around 4,800 pilots, all of whom are military veterans, are allegedly involved in concealing their receipt of benefits for mental health disorders and other serious conditions, which could potentially render them unfit for flight.
Legal requirements stipulate that pilots must divulge information about such medical benefits.
The report from The Post further outlines that both medical professionals and former FAA officials have indicated that numerous veterans downplay their ailments when communicating with the agency to ensure their flying privileges remain intact.
However, they tend to amplify these same conditions when dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs to secure higher disability payments.
The VA inspector general’s office is also engaged in an inquiry concerning many of the 4,800 pilots, aiming to ascertain whether any of them should be referred to the Justice Department for potential charges related to manipulating the benefits system.
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