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FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:30 am
by MrMorden
https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=23014

This is a big friggin' deal -- The FAA has issued an emergency revocation of the repair station certificate for Sensenich's Connecticut maintenance facility.  From the press release:

The FAA alleges Sensenich falsified maintenance records and approved for return to service parts that had been improperly serviced.

The FAA also issued an Emergency Order of Revocation of the repairman certificate of the company’s accountable manager for the same alleged violations.

The FAA alleges that between March 2015 and at least February 2017, Sensenich and the accountable manager knowingly and intentionally performed maintenance on 47 propellers for 45 separate aircraft that was contrary to instructions in the manufacturer’s overhaul manuals.

The FAA further alleges that Sensenich and the accountable manager certified that on 47 separate occasions, the work was performed in accordance with the manufacturer’s overhaul manuals and Federal Aviation Regulations, and approved the propellers for return to service. Sensenich officials knew, however, that the propellers were not properly overhauled, the FAA alleges.


There are a LOT of LSAs using these props, including most RV-12s.  It's unclear how this will affect maintenance on those props going forward.

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:00 am
by Warmi
It is only one of their facilities so perhaps just a simple recall for the affected 47 props, this time with proper maintenance and some disciplinary action against the offending manager would do the trick ?

I guess it also depends if the “contrary to the manual “ part refers to serious, structurally important parts or perhaps some minor oversight.

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:42 am
by 3Dreaming
MrMorden wrote:https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=23014

This is a big friggin' deal -- The FAA has issued an emergency revocation of the repair station certificate for Sensenich's Connecticut maintenance facility.  From the press release:

The FAA alleges Sensenich falsified maintenance records and approved for return to service parts that had been improperly serviced.

The FAA also issued an Emergency Order of Revocation of the repairman certificate of the company’s accountable manager for the same alleged violations.

The FAA alleges that between March 2015 and at least February 2017, Sensenich and the accountable manager knowingly and intentionally performed maintenance on 47 propellers for 45 separate aircraft that was contrary to instructions in the manufacturer’s overhaul manuals.

The FAA further alleges that Sensenich and the accountable manager certified that on 47 separate occasions, the work was performed in accordance with the manufacturer’s overhaul manuals and Federal Aviation Regulations, and approved the propellers for return to service. Sensenich officials knew, however, that the propellers were not properly overhauled, the FAA alleges.


There are a LOT of LSAs using these props, including most RV-12s.  It's unclear how this will affect maintenance on those props going forward.


This does not effect the LSA propellers, unless it would happen to be a metal propeller on a vintage standard category LSA. Furthermore the effected propellers may not even be Sensenich propellers.

The composite ground adjustable propellers are manufactured in Florida, and their repair facility for these propellers is also there.

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:51 am
by MrMorden
This will have implications for the entire company. If you read the whole press release you can see that the certificates have been revoked for the company, not the single facility. Just because LSA props are not certified under Part 23 doesn't mean that the company doesn't need a repair station certificate to overhaul them. Only ELSA allow anybody to do maintenance on an aircraft without ratings. Most SLSA maintenance requires an LSRM or A&P.

Third party shops should be able to do the work on wood or metal props, but most of the modern Sensenich LSA props like on the RV-12 are pressure-bonded hollow composite...not sure how many shops can work on those.

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:07 pm
by MrMorden
Well, this is clear as mud...Sensenich posted the following on their website:

IMPORTANT NOTICE – FAA REVOCATION ORDER DOES NOT APPLY TO US
You may know about an August 21, 2018 Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) press release
describing the revocation of a Connecticut repair station certificate of a company named
Sensenich Propeller Service, Inc.
Please be informed that Sensenich Propeller Manufacturing Co., Inc., Sensenich Wood Propeller
Co., Inc., and its subsidiary, Sensenich Composites, Inc. (collectively, “Sensenich Propeller
Company”) are not affiliated and do not share ownership or management with the Repair
Station Company in any way. In September 1995, the Repair Station Company became
independent from us and was allowed to continue to use the name “Sensenich.” Other than the
similar name, there has been no connection between the two business groups since then.
Sensenich Propeller Company remains committed to integrity and quality products and services
that meet or exceed all industry and governmental standards.
Sensenich Propeller Company has no connection whatsoever with the August 21, 2018 FAA
revocation order or the Repair Station Company, and the FAA order does not apply to us in
any way.

No affiliation, except they used to be part of the same company. No mention whether that company is currently used as the maintenance facility for the Sensenich factory. Now I'm just left with questions.

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:07 pm
by TimTaylor
Seems very clear. They spun off the repair shop several years ago as a separate company. If you didn't have your prop serviced there, it's a non issue. When they spun it off in 1995, they should have not allowed the use of the Sensenich name.

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:44 pm
by Andrew G
Selling a business can be confusing. Tim is correct... the Sens. Co sold their "Repair Shop" in CT... and "sold" means they most likely sold the repair shop assets only... and not the equity... i.e. they sold the machines, the right to lease (or bought the building), the right to the customers, the office furniture, and the right to the name on the door. A new name change in 1995 to "Bob's Prop Repair" wouldn't be worth as much. The name on the door has a lot of value (brand equity) as it is an old company. It was a risk the Seller (Sens..) took... and it came back to haunt them.

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:50 pm
by MrMorden
TimTaylor wrote:Seems very clear. They spun off the repair shop several years ago as a separate company. If you didn't have your prop serviced there, it's a non issue. When they spun it off in 1995, they should have not allowed the use of the Sensenich name.


They have not said whether the spun off shops continues as the official Sensenich repair shop, or whether they now have their own separate repair facility. In other words, going forward, where do you send your prop?

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:43 pm
by dstclair
Who said this particular shop was 'the official Sensenich repair/overhaul' shop? This is just one of around forty that are factory authorized to work on Sensenich props. This particular shop happens to have Sensenich in the name but it has no legal relationship to the manufacturer Sensenich.

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:43 pm
by MrMorden
dstclair wrote:Who said this particular shop was 'the official Sensenich repair/overhaul' shop? This is just one of around forty that are factory authorized to work on Sensenich props. This particular shop happens to have Sensenich in the name but it has no legal relationship to the manufacturer Sensenich.


No current legal relationship. Previously they were the SAME company. My question is, if you send a prop in to Sensenich for warranty work or overhaul, does it get farmed out to that facility? If not, it seems dumb for Sensenich to let them retain the Sensenich name and create market confusion.

Alphabet and Google are “separate” companies, but all search and data services used by Alphabet are through Google. My question is: “To what degree was Sensenich using this repair shop, that used to be one and the same with them, to do current or recent work?”

I can’t believe this is hard to grasp. Companies split various functions into multiple companies all the time, it in no way means the one doesn’t do work for the other, sometimes exclusively. When I worked for Delta, I technically worked for an IT company called Delta Technology. But Delta Tech’s ONLY client was Delta Airlines, and the airline didn’t have any other IT services supplier. Legally separate companies? Yes. No relation whatsoever? Laughable.

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:25 pm
by Warmi
The confusing part is that the FAA notice explicitly states that “The company’s two other maintenance facilities that it operates elsewhere in the country are not affected by this Emergency Order of Revocation.”
If this is some independent facility then what “other two facilities” the notices refers to ? Meaning the independent maintenace company had two other locations or is FAA implying that this is part of the Sensenich props company?

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:29 pm
by MrMorden
Warmi wrote:The confusing part is that the FAA notice explicitly states that “The company’s two other maintenance facilities that it operates elsewhere in the country are not affected by this Emergency Order of Revocation.”
If this is some independent facility then what “other two facilities” the notices refers to ? Meaning the independent maintenace company had two other locations or is FAA implying that this is part of the Sensenich props company?


Excellent point. As I said...clear as mud!

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:06 pm
by dstclair
This is not rocket science. Sensenich Propeller Services has three locations with each having it's own FAA cert (http://www.sensenichpropellers.com/contact/). The CT location is the subject of the FAA action. GA and PA are not affected The action also has no bearing on Sensenich Propeller Manufacturing Company which is itself a FAA Ceterfied Repair Station. Presumably to do warranty and repairs.

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:30 pm
by Warmi
Well, very stupid of Sensenich to allow for that other company to use their name. I doubt people will be willing to make an effort to figure if this is some other Sensenich company 2 years down the road when they happen to google this very notice.

Re: FAA Action Against Sensenich

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:08 am
by TimTaylor
We have no idea how the spin off was done. I worked 34 years for one of the largest consumer products companies in the US. Over the years, we spun off multiple parts of the corporation when they no longer fit into our evolving worldwide portfolio. They were set up as independent corporations and stock was issued. Usually, part of our management team went with them as part of the new organization. Never, did the new companies share any part of our corporate name.

In the case of Sensenich, the spin-off would be worth far more with the Sensenich name versus without the name. I don't have any idea who Sensenich partners with to do their prop maintenance and/or restoration, but I assume it is quite likely the new spin-off continued to be a supplier of services to Sensenich. If so, any work done within this time period of 2015 - 2017 will be subject to recall, I suspect.