It’s probably something you don’t want to think about when you board a plane: whether or not the aircraft you’re traveling in is mechanically sound. The Federal Aviation Administration has levied a half million dollar fine against a company it said deliberately falsified documents attesting to the airworthiness of the ball bearings it was selling.
The bearings are used in a component that ensures that the aircraft generator provides a steady stream of electrical power to the aircraft.
The FAA alleges that between March 2015 and July 2017, aerospace parts broker Aerospace Support International, LLC intentionally duplicated the proper airworthiness documentation of bearings it purchased legitimately to fraudulently attest to the airworthiness of dozens of other bearings it sold to four separate companies.
The agency also alleges the company duplicated other paperwork that documented the bearings were made to an industry or commercial standard by an FAA-approved parts manufacturer.
The FAA is seeking a $514,558 civil penalty against the Doral, Fla., company. It says Aerospace Support International’s actions resulted in “a serious risk to the flying public.”
The agency did not disclose which four companies purchased the ball bearings, and which airlines or aviation companies they supply aircraft to. On its website, the company says it offers "a vast inventory of new and refurbished aircraft parts for virtually every aircraft type." Its clients includes airlines, corporate operators, flying schools and private flyers.
Aerospace Support International has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case.