Southwest Removes Counterfeit Elements Provided by Bogus Firm From Boeing 737 | Digital Noch

Southwest Removes Counterfeit Elements Provided by Bogus Firm From Boeing 737 | Digital Noch

Southwest Airways confirmed that it eliminated “suspect elements,” a pair of low-pressure turbine blades, from a Boeing 737 engine after proof that its provider, OAG Technics, falsified documentation. This makes Southwest the primary main provider to acknowledge using OAG’s doubtlessly counterfeit elements publicly.

The story of the corporate that provided bogus elements for Southwest’s and plenty of different airways’ plane is fairly wild.

Fictitious staff, nonexistent workplaces

On August 31, Bloomberg reported that European regulators had discovered {that a} London-based firm provided uncertified, counterfeit elements for repairs of jet engines that energy many older-generation Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s. On September 7, Bloomberg launched a extra complete report, revealing layers of deception past simply bogus elements and an organization constructed virtually solely on fabrications. 

Key figures inside the OAG, resembling Ray Kwong, the chief industrial officer, seem to have fraudulent employment histories and even use inventory images as their LinkedIn profile footage. Corporations like Nissan, ANA, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the place Kwong claimed to have labored, don’t have any file of his employment.

AOG Technics was established in 2015 by Jose Zamora Yrala, a 35-year-old whose nationality is listed alternately as British and Venezuelan. Though the corporate is registered at a prestigious deal with in London’s Nova Constructing, it solely maintains a digital workplace there.

Additional including to the scandal, lots of AOG’s workers seem fictitious, with inventory pictures used for LinkedIn profiles. 

Ray Kwong’s LinkedIn profile image, left, and a healthcare web site, proper. Courtesy of Bloomberg Inc.
Southwest Removes Counterfeit Elements Provided by Bogus Firm From Boeing 737 | Digital Noch Digital Noch
Johnny Rico’s LinkedIn profile image, left, and a dental apply web site, proper. Courtesy of Bloomberg Inc.

AOG’s web site, now offline, claimed the corporate was a “main world plane assist supplier,” although it was not an permitted vendor for main producers like CFM or GE. The web site additionally boasted warehouse operations in various places resembling London, Frankfurt, Miami, and Singapore, although none of that’s true.

Scope of the difficulty

Whereas it stays unclear precisely what number of faux elements have been put in or what number of plane are affected, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has mentioned it’s investigating “a lot of Suspect Unapproved Elements” provided by AOG Technics, with some already discovered on UK-registered plane. 

It’s price noting that the variety of affected plane right here could possibly be fairly enormous for the reason that CFM56 is the world’s best-selling jet engine. Clearly, the widespread use of falsified or undocumented elements is a giant deal, doubtlessly undermining the sturdiness and reliability of plane engines.


From the fraudulent LinkedIn profiles of its key staff to the facade of its prestigious London workplace deal with, the extent of OAG’s deceit appears fairly audacious. And Southwest Airways, I believe, is way from the one airline affected; the engines concerned energy a big proportion of the world’s industrial flights, making the potential ramifications colossal and far-reaching. For sure, I’ll be following this story intently.

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