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Engine for Presidential Plane Left Unattended

Posted November. 14, 2009 18:23,   


An engine for a presidential plane was left unattended for almost a week due to a lax management by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, news reports said yesterday.

A logistics company in charge of the engine’s delivery suffered a loss of 120 million won because the engine had to be sent to the U.S. for reexamination due to a problem in transportation. The company filed a lawsuit against the agency in May.

According to documents submitted by the company, part of the engine arrived at Incheon International Airport on July 7, 2007, after six months of inspection by the engine’s producer General Electric in the U.S.

A problem occurred right before the engine was shipped to Korea and after shipment. The engine languished in a warehouse at the airport for two to three days because the agency and the 15th squadron of the Korean Air Force failed to confirm the shipped item, delivery methods and the final destination.

Three days after its arrival at the airport, the engine was transferred to an air base in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, and was temporarily moved to an Air Force detachment in Seoul’s Dongjak district. The decision of the temporary transfer of the engine, however, was made by a military official, not by the agency.

The engine, however, was later discovered not to have been carried by an oscillation-proof vehicle on a 50-kilometer transportation route from the airport and the detachment. So it was sent to the GE inspection center for re-inspection from Dec. 2007 to Feb. last year.

A shock watch that was not attached to the engine in the process of transportation was also found. This device changes color from white to red when oscillation occurs. The agency’s regulation requires the attachment of such devices to military supplies.

“We notified an official in charge at the agency of the shipment and contract numbers on June 30, 2007, after getting a shipment request for the engine from a U.S. logistics partner,” a company source said.

“We made several attempts to contact officers at the Seongnam air base, but got no information from the person in charge until July 5. On July 6, we were told to send the engine to the detachment, so the engine was delivered by air from the United States.”

To this, an agency official in charge of procurement said, “We’ve never been lax in dealing with the engine,” adding, “Airplane engines can be held at a warehouse for two to three days before delivery to a relevant base, but the presidential plane engine was delivered on an oscillation-proof vehicle because it was 20 years old.”