Pratt & Whitney and PCC Airfoils have consented to pay a hefty amount to resolve False Claims Act allegations concerning the companies’ turbine jet blade replacements. The Justice Department had alleged that for nine years, from 1994 to 2003, the two manufacturers sold defective turbine blade replacements to the military for use in F-15 jets and single-engine F-16 jets. The companies knew that the blades, which were designed by Pratt & Whitney and built by PCC Airfoils, failed to satisfy a critical design dimension. In June of 2003, an F-16 jet crashed in Arizona as a result of the defect, though the pilot safely ejected. Pratt & Whitney will bear the bulk of the sizeable settlement and will also provide a substantial amount in services to reinspect blades already purchased by the Air Force to determine whether the blades are still serviceable.
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