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Pratt & Whitney uncover fraudulent engine testing

March 5, 2013, Conn. – A longtime scheme involving fraudulent parts testing has been uncovered at one of the subsidiaries of the parent company that owns airplane engine-maker Pratt & Whitney Canada.


March 5, 2013
By The Canadian Press

March 5, 2013, Conn. – A longtime scheme involving fraudulent
parts testing has been uncovered at one of the subsidiaries of the
parent company that owns airplane engine-maker Pratt & Whitney
Canada.

Pratt & Whitney, which is based in East Hartford, Conn., said
Monday it notified Transport Canada about the issue in September
2011, even though the fraudulent tests are not considered to be a
public safety concern.

"Thorough internal audits were conducted using original,
unaltered test data to confirm the quality of the parts in
question," said company spokeswoman Stephanie Duvall in an email
Monday.

"There have been no product recalls, service bulletins, or
airworthiness directives, and there are no flight safety risks."

The scheme, believed to have been carried out for more than 15
years, was discovered at Carmel Forge Ltd. in Israel, a subsidiary
of United Technologies Inc., which owns Pratt & Whitney.

An internal investigation was initiated in June 2011 after an
employee anonymously reported that test data had been routinely
adjusted during this period at the plant near Haifa, Israel.

As a result, the company discovered that employees had doctored
metallurgical test results to make certain engine forgings appear to
meet strict standards when in fact they did not, as part of an
effort to minimize more testing.

Transport Canada says it reviewed a summary of the investigation
by Pratt & Whitney was "satisfied" with the corrective actions
taken by the company.

"As a result, the department did not need to take any further
action," the department said in an email.

Pratt & Whitney says Carmel Forge has also notified the Federal
Aviation Administration and its customers regarding the fraudulent
tests.

"Through the course of their oversight, Transport Canada and the
FAA determined that there was no need to issue airworthiness
directives," said Duvall.

Montreal-based Bombardier declined comment except to
say that "Pratt and Whitney is a trusted supplier."

Pratt & Whitney says Carmel Forge has made personnel changes,
established stronger software controls, purchased test equipment and
taken other steps to prevent adjustments to original test data.

"Carmel Forge remains confident in the quality, integrity and
safety of its products," said Duvall.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement it found
no evidence of non-conforming parts at Carmel Forge and did not
issue fines or other penalties.

The agency also said no special FAA assessments or reviews of the
facility are underway. It said it agreed with Pratt & Whitney's
corrective action plan and agrees with Pratt & Whitney's assessment
that there are no data indicating any in-service issues.

No maintenance schedules were adjusted as a result of the
investigation, and the parts are performing as expected, the FAA
said.

Pratt & Whitney is a unit of United Technologies Corp., a
diversified company that includes Otis Elevator, Sikorsky
helicopter, Carrier heating and cooling and other aerospace and
building system businesses. Its Canadian subsidiary is based in
Longueuil, Que.