The Federal Aviation Administration said here today it would hold hearings into information it had recieved during the agency's month-long investigation of an alleged international bogus helicopter parts scheme.
In a five-page statement the FAA said it had obtained information that parts used in helicopters in the United States and abroad did not conform to engineering data and design drawings to their supposed manufacturers and that the parts did not meet federal manufacturing regulations.
"If unairworthy helicopter parts have been manufactured and distributed to the helicopter operators an unsafe condition requiring corrective action may have been created," the FAA said.
The FAA named the Aviation Sales International Corp. of Richmond Hill, N.Y., along with two of Aviation Sales' subsidiaries in the Los Angeles suburb of Chatsworth as being accused of responsibility for the manufacturing, sale and distribution of the allegedly bogus parts.
If the information it has developed in its investigation is correct, said the federal agency, "any helicopter parts and components so manufactured, sol dand distributed to foreign and domestic markets would be unairworthy within the purview of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 and federal regulations."
Meanwhile the Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corp., one of two firms whose names were allegedly forged on the suspect parts under the direction of Aviation Sales, issued a statement today warning its commercial and military customers, including NATO nations and the U.S. military services, to "review and inspect parpts that they may have bought from sources other than Sikorsky."
The Washington Post, in a story today, said a former employee of Aviation Sales here had admitted in an interview that she had altered helicopter part identification numbers to make them appear to have been manufactured for Sikorsky and up to Sikorsky specifications.
In fact, other sources who were considerably higher up in Aviation Sales told The Post the parts were of a lesser grade that Aviation Sales had manufactured at a low cost and sold at a tremendous mark-up.
Aviation Sales has declined to answer questions from The Post on the allegations, and said today it would have no comment on the action taken by the FAA or Sikorsky.