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Policy Letter

POGO Letter to Vought Aircraft Inc., regarding product substitution

Kevin P. McGlinchey

Vice President and General Counsel

Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc.

9314 W. Jefferson Boulevard

Dallas , TX 75211

Dear Mr. McGlinchey:

In May 2008, The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) released a 2006 Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) memorandum which revealed that from 1997 to 2005, Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc., along with other aircraft manufacturers, was supplied with bogus materials by a composite materials supplier, Airtech International, Inc.

According to the CID memorandum, “Airtech at its own discretion, routinely changes the composition, the manufacturer or the manufacturing process of products without disclosure to its customer, which in most case [sic] would require requalification of the product.” [Attachment]

Further, the CID memorandum notes that the products supplied by Airtech were “...originally qualified for safety concerns.” For that reason, any change “…to the products or processes could result in contaminations to the end product, which could result in the loss of parts or safety issues if the part is put into use.”

Despite safety concerns, Airtech has routinely supplied bogus materials or changed the manufacturer or manufacturing process without proper notification to its customers. In fact, the memorandum states that “...Airtech has supplied some form of nonconforming product to every aircraft manufacturer in the world.” As evidence, the CID memorandum cites numerous instances of substitutions at Vought Aircraft and includes corroborating evidence. [Attachment]

The CID memorandum concludes that “to this day, despite instances of substitutions at Vought, Airtech remains an approved vendor for DOD contractors like The Boeing Company, Sikorsky Aircraft, Lockheed Martin, and Bell Helicopter.”

In light of the evidence of product substitution at Vought Aircraft provided by the CID memorandum, POGO requests that you answer the following questions:

  • Does the CID memorandum concern Vought Industries, Inc.?
  • Why is Airtech International, Inc. still an approved Vought supplier?
  • Has product substitution resulted in the failure of parts manufactured by Vought? If not, could product substitution result in the failure of a Vought part?
  • Is product substitution at Vought endangering passengers?

If you have any questions or request assistance or further information, do not hesitate to contact me at 202-347-1122 or [email protected].

Sincerely,

Jake Wiens

Investigator

Project On Government Oversight