Re: Counterfeit parts

Date:         15 Jan 97 04:23:57 
From:         nak@lucent.com (Neil A Kirby)
Organization: Lucent Technologies, Columbus, Ohio
References:   1 2 3 4
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In article <airliners.1997.197@ohare.chicago.com>,
Seth Dillon  <sdillon@ilinks.net> wrote:
>Brian A. Reynolds wrote:
>
>> Counterfeit parts is a real and present danger which the FAA and other
>> Regulatory Agencies are working to stop.
>
>You must remember that there are several types of "bogus" parts.

[snip - good parts with bad papers]

>All of the above are illegal to install on a 121 aircraft, even though
>they may be perfectly airworthy.  The following are parts which pose a
>true and immediate threat to air safety.
>
>4) Parts which have exceeded their life limit but have been refurbished
>and have reentered the system accompanied with forged certs.
>
>5) Parts which are made from substandard material, or otherwise do not
>meet the design specs of the original but are fraudulantly marked and
>have forged certs.

Those from 5) are nasty to deal with.  Once upon a time I worked for the US
Air Force as a civil servant in a lab.  One of our proudest photographs is
of a simple three wire transistor.  The steel cap is popped up just
allowing you to read the part number on the steel cap.  And just up enough
to allow you to read the part number of the far tinier, far cheaper
transistor hidden inside.  To all typical checks, the part is a working
transistor.  Run it at full power for too long, and it fails inservice.

We were happy that people went to jail over that one.  We were less happy
about the planes and personnel that had been lost that couldn't be brought
back.

The transistor case was clear and easy to prove once we got it figured out.
The bad O-rings that some one sold were a nightmare.  They were for F4
Phantom II aircraft hydraulics and they were failure prone.  But you needed
a laboratory to tell the good expensive ones from the relabeled inadequate
ones that had been sold at the expensive price with the expensive part
number.

Neil Kirby	DoD #0783	nak@lucent.com
Lucent Technologies - Home of Bell Labs Innovations
(Formerly AT&T) Bell Labs  Columbus OH     USA +1 (614) 860-5304