Mode Aviation
Reference No. AR201700016
Date reported 14 February 2017
Concern title Helicopter using non-approved parts during maintenance
Concern summary

The concern related to the use of non-approved parts during maintenance.

Industry / Operation affected Aviation: General aviation
Concern subject type Aviation: Maintenance

Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern relating to the use of non-approved parts on the helicopters owned and operated by [operator].

The reporter advised that out of date and unserviceable parts have been used during maintenance.

Reporter comment: This is a huge safety concern due to the nature of the operations being undertaking.

Operator's response (Operator 1)

I have read the report and firstly can I say how floored I was at reading such an accusation!

Our maintenance is performed by [operator 2] a company that I am a director of and a company that solely performs maintenance on aircraft that [operator 1] operate.

We have adopted very strict maintenance procedures to ensure that no such practice takes place. Our certificate of airworthiness holder [operator 2] has an approved engineering procedures and quality manual (EPQM) and employs a dedicated technical records manager who not only reviews all the aircraft hours flown and develops the work packs for the engineering staff to complete when undertaking maintenance they also perform the role of parts acquisition and stores management.

The technical records manager through [operator 2] use Aerotrack, a software package that tracks all parts purchased, raises purchase orders and records parts removed and fitted to aircraft. The system raises work packs and records all aspects of the maintenance performed on each aircraft. Under NO circumstances does [operator 1] or its approved maintenance provider purchase unapproved parts or components nor do we fit unserviceable parts to our aircraft.

We have recently had two external audits performed and neither audit identified any such practices.

I have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars implementing systems and personnel to ensure no such practice occurs. I would welcome any investigation by you of our procurement process.

I have copied into this email for their record our maintenance controller for our Class A aircraft and our externally appointed safety manager, who oversights the implementation of and conformance to our safety management system.

This is not a company that cuts corners and I will take such accusations very very seriously.

Operator's response (Operator 2)

CASA has reviewed the REPCON and notes that the report contains unsubstantiated allegations about maintenance practices. CASA has no further comment.

Last update 12 July 2018