FAA pulls certification of Lion jet sensor overhaul company

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October 28, 2019
FAA Lion Air
Photo: PK-REN, Wikimedia Commons

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)  has revoked the certification of a Florida company responsible for overhauling a  sensor involved in the Lion Air Flight 610 tragedy.

The FAA issued an order Friday revoking the repair station certificate of Xtra Aerospace, which repaired an angle-of-attack sensor which played a crucial role in the fatal flight in October 2018.

READ: Lion Air MAX report finds Boeing, airline, pilots contributed to tragedy

The final report of the Indonesian  National Transportation Safety Committee found the sensor had been miscalibrated during the repair and this was not detected either during the repair or when the sensor was installed.

The report also criticized FAA oversight of the company and recommended that the Florida company implement a manual “including equivalency assessment, training and written procedure, to ensure component (s) being repaired are properly maintained”.

An FAA investigation after the Lion Air accident found that Xtra failed to comply with requirements to repair only aircraft parts on a list the FAA deemed it was capable of repairing.

“The company also failed to comply with procedures in its repair station manual for implementing a capability list in accordance with the Federal Aviation Regulations,’’ it said.

The FAA began its investigation in November 2018 and investigators looked specifically at the company’s compliance with regulatory requirements that apply to its capability list, and records and work orders for aircraft parts it approved for return to service.

“The investigation determined that from November 2009 until May 2019, Xtra failed to complete and retain records in accordance with procedures in its repair station manual to support parts on its capability list,’’ it said.

“The company also did not substantiate that it had adequate facilities, tools, test equipment, technical publications, and trained and qualified employees to repair parts on its capability list.”

The FAA said it issued the order as part of a settlement agreement with the company under which Xtra waived its right to appeal the revocation.

In a statement reported by Reuters, Xtra said it had cooperated with the FAA but “respectfully” disagreed with its findings.

The company noted the FAA action was separate from Indonesia’s investigation and “is not an indication that Xtra was responsible for the accident”.