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Whistleblower suit cites Rolls-Royce engine flaws

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Rolls-Royce Corp. concealed repeated defects at an aircraft engine plant in Indianapolis and fired a safety official for reporting the problems, according to a whistleblower lawsuit filed in federal court.

Lawyers for Thomas McArtor said a federal court in Indianapolis unsealed his complaint Tuesday, 34 months after it was filed. His lawyer criticized the long-running secrecy.

"Aircraft manufacturers enjoy a special position of public trust," said Mike Kanovitz of Loevy & Loevy. "It is arrogant for any of them to pick and choose which defects the public gets to hear about. Aircraft operators and airline travelers deserve complete transparency so that they can evaluate the risks and take steps to protect themselves."

The Associated Press left several e-mail and telephone messages for London-based Rolls-Royce seeking comment Wednesday.

McArtor was a senior quality-control official for Rolls-Royce and the Federal Aviation Administration's chief designated airworthiness representative for the plant, according to the complaint. It said he worked there for 12 years before being fired in 2007.

The suit says the company cut quality controls to increase profits, then concealed information about an increase in defects from customers.

It says problems affect the Model 250, T56 and AE2100 engines, used in civilian and military aircraft. They include Bell helicopters, Saab turbo props, C130 transports, and the Kiowa military helicopter.

The suit says some engines from the plant have experienced 'catastrophic failures," including nine that have failed in Iraq, causing the loss of U.S. lives.

Rolls-Royce was the manufacturer at a different plant of a Trent 900 engine that blew apart Nov. 4 on superjumbo Airbus A380 passenger jet operated by Qantas. The plane had about 450 passengers aboard and made a safe emergency landing.

Rolls-Royce’s Indianapolis manufacturing facility employs about 4,300, making the British aerospace firm the city’s second-largest manufacturer behind Eli Lilly and Co.

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  • No need for oversite and regulations
    Here is a perfect example why the GOP clammer for doing away with oversite, regulations, inspections, is bad for America. The GOP who thinks nothing ever would happen and these regulations are just burdensome have brought to us the BP oil disaster, ERON, and now RR's jet engines, just to name a few.

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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