An unknown number of CFM56 and CF6 engines are flying with parts not certified by aviation authorities, CFM International confirmed on Wednesday.
The company, a joint venture between GE (US), and Safran (France) supplies turbofans for Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 and others aircraft. In addition to them, GE has also equipped hundreds of widebodies with the CF6 engine, such as the 767 and the A330.
According to CFM, British supplier AOG Technics used falsified certificates to validate the operation of parts manufactured by it.
The company filed a lawsuit in the High Court of London, England, to force AOG to hand over documents about parts for the CFM56 and CF6 engines since 2015.
The plan is to try to map as soon as possible the aircraft that are flying with engines with unapproved parts. To date, the company has managed to find 86 falsified documents and the number of suspected engines has reached 100.
Operators are being alerted and the FAA, the US civil aviation agency, has already issued an alert for owners of jets with the engines to inspect their aircraft or parts inventory.
Engine used by major commercial aircraft
The first report of suspicions about the origin of the parts occurred in June by TAP Manutenção e Engenharia, from Portugal.
Carriers such as Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Australia have already admitted to having aircraft equipped with AOG parts, according to Bloomberg.
CFM56 engines are widely used in air transport, powering very popular aircraft such as the Boeing 737 Classic and NG and the entire first generation A320 family.
Even military aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon (maritime patrol) and the KC-46 Pegasus may have been affected by the scandal.
Although the jets are being phased out of service, replaced by more modern aircraft, there are around 23,000 CFM56 engines in the world.
“Safety is our first priority, and we are taking aggressive legal action against AOG Technics for selling unapproved aircraft engine parts with falsified airworthiness documentation. We remain united with the aviation community in working to keep unapproved parts out of the global supply chain,” said CFM in a press release.