Tuesday, 10 November 2020

NASTY fakes

Counterfeit medicine is a real danger to health, but another lucrative area of counterfeiting people rarely think about (probably just as well) is aircraft parts. Simple things like nuts, bolts and washers made for aviation use undergo a more stringent manufacturing procedure. As a result something that looks like it could from a hardware store for 10 cents actually costs €50. As a result the temptation is there to repackage the 10c washer as a €50 one. The infamous Concorde crash in July 2000 was as a result of a piece of metal lying on the runway hitting an engine causing it to explode. The piece of metal had fallen off another plane because of a counterfeit part. In The Fraudsters I wrote about Joseph Smith who set up a firm in Shannon, Ireland, selling aircraft parts. In fact he just re-conditioned old parts and passed them off as new until the US Air Force found him out in 2000. He skipped bail leaving his two sons to face the rap. This week Duane Lepire in Los Angeles was selling ordinary rubber seals as being fit for aviation use. The 74-year-old got two and a half years in jail.

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