FAA Unapproved Parts Alert Affects "All Aircraft"

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Raw metal that was sold as meeting certain specifications for aviation use, sold by M&M International Aerospace Metals of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in fact did not meet those specs, the FAA said last week. The metal was sold to various distributors, type certificate holders, production approval holders, experimental aircraft distributors, and a variety of military and commercial entities. The metal certifications may have been deliberately altered in order to satisfy customer requirements when the company knew that the material did not meet the full requirements, the FAA said. The following changes were found by investigators: Specification numbers were added, quantities were changed, heat-treat certifications were altered, chemical analysis requirements were added, hardness test results were changed, and names of required mills were changed to match purchase order requirements. Aircraft owners, operators, maintenance organizations, manufacturers, and parts suppliers and distributors should inspect their records for raw metal purchased from M&M and examine those records for alterations, the FAA said. If material certifications are suspected of being altered, it is recommended that the original certificate supplier be contacted for a copy of the original certification, or independent tests be run for the original purchase order requirements. If the material is determined to be nonconforming, the stock -- or parts made from the stock -- should undergo an engineering analysis that is based on the material's location or use in its proposed application.