GE Aviation in Santa Ana to Pay $6.58 Million to Make Shoddy Inspection Claims Go Away

Categories: Court

General Electrics Aviation Systems, a Santa Ana subsidiary of GE, is letting $6.58 million fly away to settle allegations it submitted false claims for multiple U.S. Department of Defense contracts, according to the Justice Department. GE Aviation employee Jeffrey Adler leveled the allegations about work at 2040 E. Dyer Road on Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, but the government case also included accusations concerning F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter jets.

Adler's whistleblower lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of the United States, and federal officials allege that between June 2010 and June 2011, GE Aviation lied about performing a complete inspection on 228 drag beams to be used on the Blackhawks to confirm they conformed to contract specifications.

The government also accuses GE Aviation of knowingly having failed to comply with contract specifications and undertake the proper quality control standards for 641 external fuel tanks for the F/A-18 Hornets delivered to the Navy between June 2005 and February 2008, according to Thom Mrozek, a DOJ spokesman. These allegations came after a new tank leaked.

"Defense contractors agree to provide the government with a quality product, and in doing so, they promise to follow strict manufacturing and testing protocols to ensure that our military receives only the best equipment," said Andre Birotte Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, in a statement. "In this case, some of the hardware sold to the government did not meet quality-control standards, and that failure could have put our service members at risk. This multimillion dollar settlement is designed to ensure that General Electric Aviation Systems does not engage in this type of misconduct in the future, and this case should serve as a warning to any government contractor who thinks it can cut corners."

Pray these were isolated at the Santa Ana plant, which also makes and sells integrated systems and components for commercial, corporate and marine aircraft.

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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Yes, this article make for good print. But. First of all, it fails to mention that GE acquired this plant from Smith Aviation around 2011 and so inherited these legacy quality issues. Second, it fails to consider the impact or lack thereof of these quality failures on the final product. Thirdly, it fails to consider the cost of making a good product perfect, which is what the DoD seems to want. So, the fuel tank leaks a little. These are throw-away items that were produced at a reasonable cost and by and large have performed well enough for many years. Nobody seems to notice anymore that we have a bloated defense budget loaded with $1000 items that should be $10 items or $200 million fighters that should be $50 million fighters, driven by Pentagon officials intent on protecting their turf and Congressmen intent on protecting their seats. I'm not sure what motivated Mr. Adler, but OC Weekly - you can do a little better job.

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