Thanks ANC. It happened in 1995 in ATL
. I remember reading about it in Time Magazine when I was going through school to get my A&P license. It talked about bogus and faulty parts by bootleggers.
The late 1980s saw a rash of problems associated with the manufacture of faulty and inadequate parts. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sets guidelines for the quality and precision of airline parts and certifies the acceptability of manufacturers. However, prior to the appearance of bogus parts in the late 1980s it had no measures in place to enforce conformity with these standards. When aircraft mechanics discovered that parts of inferior quality had infiltrated the spare parts marketplace, several task forces set about to establish more stringent means of identifying and monitoring parts.
The problem of bogus parts continued to plague the industry in the late 1990s. The cause of a ValuJet engine explosion on the ground at Atlanta in June 1996 was determined to be an engine that had been overhauled by a repair station in Turkey that lacked FAA approval. The engine contained a crackled and corroded compressor disk. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) uses the term "unapproved parts" in its official accident reports. A three-month investigation by Business Week revealed that bogus parts, including fakes, used parts sold as new, and new parts sold for unapproved purposes have found their way into the inventory of every major airline in the country. In 1996, some fire extinguishers intended for Air Force One were found to be falsely certified by a repair station.
While bogus parts were not routinely causing accidents, the problem of substandard parts had grown substantially in the 1990s. One supplier mislabeled spacers with fake Pratt & Whitney labels, but was caught by an astute airline mechanic. Clearly, parts are not labeled as bogus by the suppliers, but are laundered from used, stolen, or substandard parts, or are incorrectly specified as meeting standards via a number of means. Parts brokers adding false paperwork sell to unsuspecting brokers which sell to an unwitting FAA approved facility or airline. The FAA regulates manufacturers, repair facilities, and aircraft operators, but it is more difficult to regulate parts brokers. Although there have been hundreds of indictments and convictions, the airlines rely primarily on sharp-eyed mechanics to spot counterfeit parts.
This is a good article. 3rd paragraph down. It discusses the safety record of Critter(Valujet)
And it also references the outcome of when the engine came apart.
ValuJet's safety problems were not limited to a single, geriatric DC-9. The airline had a rap sheet a mile long. An engine had exploded on one plane as it had rolled toward takeoff, ejecting shrapnel into the fuselage and injuring seven people inside, including a flight attendant who was permanently disfigured in the fire. ValuJet pilots, among the most poorly paid and least experienced in the industry, routinely flew in weather that grounded other carriers. Their compensation plan paid them only for flights completed, a disincentive to play it safe and stay out of the sky. The inexperienced pilots were infamous for overrunning runways--in the winter of 1995 ValuJet planes overshot runways at Washington's Dulles International Airport, in Atlanta, and in Savannah. Passengers on two ValuJet flights landing in Nashville had scares: one plane came down with a hard landing, and another experienced a nose-gear collapse. While ValuJet pilots may not have been skilled at routine landings, they certainly had plenty of experience touching down in emergency situations: in 1994 the airline made fifteen emergency landings, and in 1995 it made fifty-seven. Just five months into 1996 the company had broken its own record--fifty-nine emergency landings, almost one every other day.
It's pretty shocking to see how well these counterfeit part are disguised as legit parts.
[Edited 2006-12-21 17:51:44]