The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an order revoking the repair station certificate of Xtra Aerospace of Miramar, Fla. This is the company that supplied a faulty sensor to Lion Air, one factor in the chain of events leading to the B737 Max crash with 189 fatalities.
According to the order, Xtra failed to comply with requirements to repair only aircraft parts on its list of parts acceptable to the FAA that 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. Xtra is a repair station certificated under part 145 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
The FAA began its investigation in November 2018. 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. 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 agency issued the order as part of a settlement agreement with the company. Under the agreement, Xtra waives its right to appeal the revocation to the National Transportation Safety Board or any court.
A statement from the company says, “We respectfully disagree with the agency’s findings. [This] is not an indication that Xtra was responsible for the accident.”
Xtra repaired and approved for service an angle of attack sensor later installed on the Lion Air jet that crashed. The recently released report about the investigation says the replacement sensor was not calibrated correctly and was set 21 degrees too high.