A common misunderstanding about aircraft parts distributors is the difference between PMA supplement parts and OEM parts. PMA, parts manufacturing authority, and OEM, original equipment manufacturer, parts have a lot more in common than many people think. Aside from PMA supplement parts being cheaper, there is little to no real difference when it comes to the two. This misconception of PMA supplement parts being a part of the unapproved parts scandal is completely incorrect. Just like OEM, PMA supplement parts are monitored and approved by the FAA, and are given the same requirements especially when it comes to safety.
The belief on PMA supplement parts was started back when they were new on the market, and the competitive prices scared OEMs. Fearing for their business growth, rumors were spread that PMA were not as good as the original. In fact, they are just as good as OEM parts maybe even better if budget is an important part of the business. If a company is willing to spend a little more time and effort on their parts, PMA supplement parts are the better and cheaper option for anyone without sacrificing quality. This in lies the reason why many mechanics prefer OEM parts, because they require less work and time from them. This work is not because the parts are damaged or broken, but because there are so many options the mechanic must inspect the part to ensure it is the correct one for their purposes and aircraft.
PMA supplement part numbers are easier to come by because there are more on the market, and that is why they require deeper inspection, which in turn becomes better for safety precautions. Those that know aviation, and all the components that go into it, understand that there is no real difference in PMA supplement parts and OEM parts. Why turn down a product that is the same and cheaper because of a name or rumor. Also, those that have a strong and growing business realize the benefits of PMA over OEM parts due to the cheaper price while getting the same quality.