This quote is also from my addendum (supplement) to my first report.
Another problem with vendor rework is the cannibalization of engines and possibly...struts for parts to use on other engines and struts, making "Hangar Queen" engines in effect. I really doubt all of this cannibalization is on the up and up and done with the required paperwork (including removals) and retests.
Please investigate, find out which engines were cannibalized, and make sure all the paperwork shows the correct process was followed.
I seem to remember a 737 engine a few years ago that had a spinner and/or fan blade(s) stolen, I mean cannibalized, for use on another engine. When new parts were put back on the cannibalized engine and/or the cannibalized parts were put on the engine that needed the parts, one, or both of the engines ran out of balance because some required balancing was not done prior to engine run/flight. I don’t know how they fixed the problem. I don’t know if they told you of this episode, or not.
If not, please consider this your notification.
During your investigation of this item, please clear up a problem that we have no intention of clearing up, as we don’t have a clue about it. When a part, engine, generator, T/R, APU, etc. is rejected at PSD, what do we or the vendor rework it to? It is the undocumented "RTS (Return to Supplier) in Place" system at PSD. Please make us document it, and document it correctly (See exhibit N for an email I got from (name), our resident expert on this undocumented process).
Please answer the following questions for us we were too embarrassed to ask you, as they would prove just how out of bed we are about what we do:
A. Our QA supervisor Tom Nakamichi said once in one of our crew meetings, that even if we remove and replace a bracket on a functionally tested item like an engine, then even that limited rework would invalidate the vendor test and require a retest. Is that true? If its so, then please write us up for the many retests we have missed, as Nakamichi doesn’t "walk his talk" on this subject. And if it isn’t so, please give us the FAA-approved guidelines on what kind of rework/repair of vendor items would require a retest.
B. Many of our tags say to "rework per AMM (Airplane Maintenance Manual)." Is this correct? I was under the impression that the AMM was only used after the airplane was in service. When does a vendor item require rework per the AMM? After delivery to the airline? Or after delivery to Boeing? I believe we take the position that it is on delivery to Boeing, but to say PSD does anything at all with consistency is sacrilege to our beloved all "over the map" ways. If we are supposed to rework these items per the AMM, a Boeing document, then doesn’t that conflict with the name of this undocumented process, "RTS in place?"
We are allowing the vendor to do the rework at PSD, or doing the rework for them at PSD, to simply avoid the tax implications and production disruption that sending the part back to the vendor would entail. So shouldn’t the work be performed at PSD to the same vendor drawings, specs, and functional tests that are used at the vendor, to which they would have to work if we had sent it back in "as received" condition, without ever being installed on the airplane? I’m thinking we should not be doing this work to our AMM, but to vendor drawings, specs, and tests, or maybe to the vendor CMM, as the part is uninstalled. Or should the vendor be repairing these parts per their repair station certificate, if they have one? On NCR (number) on a 767 T/R (Thrust Reverser) blocker door replacement (see item 8 of my original letter), I requested a vendor Removal Record for the rework the vendor had done per our AMM. The unstamped copy had the (vendor) repair station certificate number on the form. Please set us straight on this, permanently.
The Last Inspector