UPDATE 1-Pratt & Whitney finds engine-test fraud at sibling unit

Mon Mar 4, 2013 3:30pm GMT

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March 4 (Reuters) - United Technologies Corp Pratt & Whitney jet engine unit has found that another United Tech unit fraudulently tested parts of engines for business jets to reduce the odds of further monitoring, Pratt said on Monday.

Pratt said that after receiving a tip from an employee in June 2011, it had reviewed 15 years of tests at the unit, Carmel Forge in Israel, and found "employees had in fact adjusted certain test data to minimize the possibility of further testing."

It said a further internal review of engine parts inspected by Carmel Forge found they were in fact safe and that the scheme had not caused any flight-safety risks.

The company's findings were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Pratt said the unit has changed staff since the fraudulent testing, bought new test equipment and put in place new software controls to ensure future testing would follow normal practices. Carmel Forge inspects a class of engine used on light jets made by Pratt & Whitney's Canadian arm.

This is not the first quality-related concern raised about United Tech units this year.

Last month, the Pentagon ordered a week-long grounding of F-35 military jets after a crack was found on a blade in an engine also made by Pratt & Whitney.

United Tech shares fell 1.6 percent to $88.68 on Monday.

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