Non-Certificated Maintenance?

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A North Dakota aircraft maintenance company is reportedly still in business even though it lost its FAA certification in 2004 and its senior mechanic lost his A&P certificate earlier this year. In both cases, according to multiple Associated Press stories published in the Fargo Forum newspaper, the FAA determined that faulty maintenance, compounded by falsified maintenance records on the part of Fargo Aero Tech, led to potentially disastrous failures on two aircraft. In the May 2004 incident, the tail rotor cable on a private helicopter failed just after the pilot had landed. Inspection of the cable was to have been part of the 100-hour inspection, which had been performed by the company four hours previously. Last Feb. 26, the pilot and passenger of a Cessna aircraft were seriously hurt after the engine seized shortly after takeoff. Investigators found the oil filter had been improperly installed and all the oil leaked out of the engine. The helicopter incident resulted in the FAA's revoking Fargo Aero Tech's certification, but it could remain in business as long as A&Ps signed off on work. In the Cessna mishap, the FAA revoked the A&P certificate of manager Emory A. Brabolian after determining that he installed the oil filter incorrectly and then falsified the log to indicate that he'd run-tested the engine to check for leaks. The Forum reports that Brabolian has dropped his appeal of the certificate revocation and accepted the FAA's six-month suspension of his certificate. He will have to requalify for the certificate at the end of six months. The owner of the company was not available to the Forum for comment.