DoT OIG’s audit signals “What’s SUP”? You may need to improve your FAA knowledge, SOON.

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The Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General has announced that it is launching an audit “to assess the effectiveness of FAA’s (1) process for monitoring and investigating suspected unapproved parts, and (2) oversight of industry actions to remove unapproved parts from the aviation supply chain.” The OIG letter indicates that this action was motivated by the Ranking Members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Full Committee and of the Aviation Subcommittee. That’s a significant push.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion (“When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.”) has been translated in Washington physics to state the thesis as follows:

  • when one federal agency investigates a second agencyaudit``
  • that agency being investigated will simultaneously investigate
    → the regulated, i.e. YOU.

While Newton’s research was about the  1st body→on a 2nd body effect, the Washington version is equally valid as to agency #1 and agency #1. However, within the Beltway, the force of the reaction of  the 2nd will agency in its energy in scrutinizing the regulated (‘you”) will be exponentially² higher IF the 1st agency was moved initially by Congress. They did and the bureaucratic energy (an oxymoron?) may well visit you, soon.

To put that into plain English, that means that anyone who has anything to do with aviation parts, whether they are SUPs or not, your friendly local Aviation Safety Inspector will likely soon be visiting your place of business to scour your inventory until he or she finds something to “remove from the supply chain.”

As anyone familiar with the SUP issue knows, what is an SUP and what is not, what documents one needs to have to prove it’s a good part, what markings are needed/where, what to do if you find a UP, etc. are not easy questions. If the ASI comes soon and you are not up to speed on her/his pointed questions, the consequences may be very bad.

It probably would be wise to brush up on your SUP soon. Here’s one option.


OIG Announcement: Audit Initiated of FAA’s Oversight of Suspected Unapproved Parts

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