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FlyingMonkey

FAA Action Against Sensenich

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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 few CTs with Sensenich props, and a LOT of other LSAs, including most RV-12s.  It's unclear how this will affect maintenance on those props going forward.

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1 hour ago, FlyingMonkey said:

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 few CTs with Sensenich props, and a LOT of other LSAs, including most RV-12s.  It's unclear how this will affect maintenance on those props going forward.

First off this is for a repair station and propeller repair, not manufacturing of new propellers. Besides the Sensenich composite props for LSA comes from the Florida factory, where they also build the wood propellers. Their metal propellers are built in Pennsylvania I believe.

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11 minutes ago, Tom Baker said:

First off this is for a repair station and propeller repair, not manufacturing of new propellers. Besides the Sensenich composite props for LSA comes from the Florida factory, where they also build the wood propellers. Their metal propellers are built in Pennsylvania I believe.

I'm not sure what you are getting at.  We were never talking about the manufacturing side, we're talking about the maintenance side where they do overhauls.  This has potential implications for every Sensenich prop currently in service that might need maintenance at some point in the future.

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But this is only for the one shop, albeit a Sensenich owned shop and a quick google search found several other shops that can overhaul a Sensenich prop -- wood and metal.  The Sensenich site itself references 24 authorized service centers for metal props.

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4 minutes ago, S3flyer said:

But this is only for the one shop, albeit a Sensenich owned shop and a quick google search found several other shops that can overhaul a Sensenich prop -- wood and metal.

Read the whole press release, the certificates are revoked for the COMPANY, not the facility:

the FAA determined that emergency action was required to immediately revoke the certificates of the company and the accountable manager. 

I'm sure others can do the work, but my point is this affects all owners needing repair or overhaul in some fashion.  Most modern Sensenich LSA props are carbon fiber, not sure how many shops will take on that work.

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I did.  The FAA revoked the repair station certificate which has nothing to do with the manufacturing side.  They also stated specifically: "The company’s two other maintenance facilities that it operates elsewhere in the country are not affected by this Emergency Order of Revocation.".  IMHO This only affects those who use or would want to use that specific repair station.

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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.

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5 hours ago, FlyingMonkey said:

I'm not sure what you are getting at.  We were never talking about the manufacturing side, we're talking about the maintenance side where they do overhauls.  This has potential implications for every Sensenich prop currently in service that might need maintenance at some point in the future.

The repair shop for the composite propellers is in Florida, they would not have been going to the shop in question.

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44 minutes ago, Tom Baker said:

The repair shop for the composite propellers is in Florida, they would not have been going to the shop in question.

Yes, but before we knew there were two companies, it would have mattered, because the certificates were revoked for the company, not just the facility.  That’s what I was saying.

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14 hours ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Yes, but before we knew there were two companies, it would have mattered, because the certificates were revoked for the company, not just the facility.  That’s what I was saying.

It was before you knew it was different companies. I was dealing with Sensenich back in the 1990's when they split things up. The company name in the FAA press release didn't match the company name for the manufacture or service of the composite propellers used on LSA. When they moved the wood propellers from Pennsylvania to Florida it became a separate entity. The wood propeller division is where the composite propellers are made and serviced.

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Think Flint Michigan and it’s water issues. The leaders and their managers told their customers “TRUST US”

Let’s have faith in their nice Lawyers. Were Sesenich serious they would never have allowed even part of their name to be used after spinning off that station.

Its like a backyard mechanic Calling himself Lycomming.

Note,The CEO of Sensenich did not put his name to the NOTICE.

Sorry how do I figure, which is the real Sensenich

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If you overhaul only one manufacturer's prop, calling yourselves "Sensenich Propeller Service" isn't exactly out of the realm of possibilities.

It's like being an engine shop and calling yourself Ford Motor Service and servicing only Ford vehicle engines.

It's may or may not a good idea to allow a company to use your name, but as said, it's not outside of the realm of possibility.

As for the whole idea of a facility separating: Employees could decide to buy out a facility. Maybe the manufacturer, Sensenich, didn't wan't to keep that facility open anymore, and the employees wanted it to stay open. Since all they do is service Sensenich Propellers, as part of the buyout, they were to be licensed to continue to use the name (lot easier to keep business using the same name, than to change it).

Anyways, the MANUFACTURER, Sensenich, is called the Sensenich Propeller Company. The OVERHAUL facility, is called Sensenich Propeller Service.

Still confusing as hell unfortunately.

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It is about sales value when the Parent sold off the CT plant.  I just sold my aero manufacturing business so I received an expensive lesson in aero mergers and acquisitions.  Aero shops when sold are not actually "sold", rather, the assets that make up the company are sold.  Buyers don't want the liability that equity carries with it (in this case... a gajillion propellers spinning out in the world post-repair)... so, the assets of the company are sold such as machinery, an assigned right to lease the building (or the building itself is sold to the Buyer), the office furniture, the prop designs, the processes for repairing the props, the employees are actually technically fired from the Old Company and rehired by the new one... and tah dah... the name of the business and telephone number. 

So, I would bet that the most likely scenario in this case is what I just wrote... the Sens owners probably made a business decision to assign the Sens name to the new CT shop owners because if they hadn't, they wouldn't have made as much money.  Think of it... Sensenich has a greater brand value than "Bob's Prop Shop"… the risk the Sellers of the CT shop took was that the value move would come back and bite them in the axx… and viola'... it did.  They certainly regret it 20 years after the sale... but back then it probably made $$$ sense(nich).  Their statement about having nothing to do with the business is technically correct.  They have no ownership interest, they don't operate it and the only thing in common is the common name on the sign out front. 

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Sensenich Brothers Propellers was a family owned business until 1989, when the whole company was sold. In 1995 when the service portion of the business was sold off it is possible that the management of the service portion was still part of the Sensenich family. If this was the case I think they would have been entitled to use their name in the new business.

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Tom, that's not the way it works... meaning, you used the term "entitled"... "Sensenich" is a business brand name, widely known.  It is an "asset", similar to "McDonalds" or "Walgreens", once family names morphed into business brands... less about 12 zeros in value...; )…   As such, the buyer paid for the privilege of using the name, as the name has value. The buyer has to license (i.e. achieve permission from the Seller) the name in order to use it...and the counterparty (the Seller) has to approve same.  Regarding Entitlement, i.e. a family member staying with the business, no Seller would allow the asset (the brand name) to be sold without Value.  no Value (money)?, no license to use the name.  Courts would uphold that notion as the two businesses (Parent and CT repair shop) would create confusion with the consumer.

In sum, the Seller sold the prop shop to a 3rd Party and the Buyer was licensed the name.

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https://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/FAA-Revokes-Certificate-Of-Sensenich-Repair-Station-231418-1.html

This does a little better job explaining what the issue was. This should alleviate the worries about any issues with Sensenich propellers. To the best of my knowledge Sensenich has never manufactured a propeller with springs. They primarily manufacture fixed pitch propellers, and now more recently ground adjustable propellers.

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