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Ethics and Legality AS9100

In late January I walked off my Job when my boss (owner who lives 2,000 miles away) told me to ship non-conforming parts to the customer (in violation of AS9102). My boss told me that 'he would take responsibility and that if the customer caught it, they owe him a favor and he would call the favor in'. I told him we can submit a request to the customer to use the discrepant parts but he said we will ship them without that (not letting the customer know). I told him I was not willing to do that and walked off the job.

As the quality manager, I am the ultimate responsible party for parts leaving the facility regardless of the boss (owner) saying he would take responsibility.

My question: Does anyone know of any legal Aerospace federal laws that talk about violation of ethics regarding customer contracts (which had ethical requirements) listed?


Captain Nice
Staff member
I admire your ethics, especially when it comes to leaving a job and the financial implications which come with that.

I can not speak to actual federal laws. I am sure that had (or if) anything significant actually come(s) of it I doubt your boss would/will come in the cross hairs of prosecutors unless there was something written.

Ethics is something talked about and often discussed, but is relatively rare in real life. My best wishes.

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
I second Marc's comments. Interestingly, AS9100 7.3.h) requires the organization to communicate the importance of ethical behavior.

If the CB responsible for the AS91X0 certification is aware of the situation and can corroborate it, they should act in accordance with the IAQG Resolution #100, which reads:

9104-001 Clause 8.5b

If auditors identify what they believe to be inaccurate, incomplete or unapproved changes to information represented as verbal or written objective evidence during the course of any type of 9100/9110/9120 certification audit (e.g. initial, surveillance, recertification or special audit) the Audit Team Leader shall classify the associated nonconformance in accordance with the 9101 definitions of Major or Minor. If the nonconformity is categorized as Major the audit team leader shall advise the certified organization that its certification status is in jeopardy as a consequence of this nonconformity.

The CB shall initiate their certificate suspension or withdrawal process to determine whether the documented nonconformity warrants suspension or withdrawal of the certified organization’s 9100/9110/9120 certificate.
The above resolution came about after some serious ethical breaches by Japanese aerospace suppliers were found out, several years ago. The resolution was worded in a very politically-correct manner, but the intent is known: if records have been demonstrably falsified, the lead auditor HAS TO TAKE action.
I am sorry to hear you got put inthat situation. It is a horrible place to be.

Was your customer the government or a government subcontractor? If so there were likely FARs that applied to the PO, and probably places you could report the fraud to the government if you wanted to.

Whatever you do, CYA. It could get ugly and ugly can mean expensive.


Super Moderator
You were told to ship nonconforming aircraft parts? As a person who at one time made his living by being an aircraft mechanic and flying on the very same aircraft afterwards (I've been licensed by the FAA for over 30 years and have over 3,000 hours in test flight alone) and as someone who has averaged over 100,000 miles a year commercial for the better part of 20 years this is frightening.

I've no idea what you made or where the parts went, but this type of activity is unconscionable from my perspective. To think that I could have unknowingly put something on an aircraft, no matter how small or insignificant, led to its failure, is as bad as it gets.
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