August 1, 2008 — Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney and its subcontractor, PCC Airfoils LLC, have agreed to pay $52,325,000 to resolve False Claims Act allegations that the companies knowingly sold defective turbine blade replacements for jet engines used in military aircraft. The engines power the large fleet of twin-engine F-15 and single engine F-16 fighter aircraft used primarily by the U.S. Air Force.
The allegations of the case were that between 1994 and 2003, replacement turbine blades designed by Pratt & Whitney and cast by PCC failed to meet a critical design dimension. This defect caused the crash of an F-16 fighter aircraft in Arizona on June 10, 2003. The pilot ejected safely.
“This settlement demonstrates the government’s commitment to maintaining high quality and safety standards required of contractors and subcontractors selling critical aircraft parts to the Department of Defense,” said Gregory G. Katsas, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
Under the settlement, Pratt & Whitney will pay $45.5 million and will also provide $4.825 million in services for re-inspecting potentially serviceable blades bought by the Air Force. PCC will pay $2 million.
See U.S. Dept of Justice Press Release 8/1/08