SpiceJet pulls 90 pilots from Boeing 737 MAX flights for retraining

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https://ebace.aero/2022/?utm_medium=web&utm_source=%20Asian%20Press%20Group&utm_campaign=ebace2022&utm_content=EW22E061Indian low-cost carrier (LCC) SpiceJet said it has grounded 90 pilots from flying the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX jets until they have undergone retraining after the airline said flaws had been discovered at a simulator facility used to train them. SpiceJet operates 11 MAX aircraft and has 144 pilots to fly them. The airline said the pilots have been restricted from operating the jets until they undergo retraining and satisfy demands made by India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Indian media reported that the restrictions were imposed after flaws were discovered at a simulator facility near Delhi where they had received training for the Boeing jet. The pilots continue to remain available for other Boeing 737 aircraft and the restriction does not impact MAX operations, a SpiceJet spokesperson said. The airline is Boeing’s biggest customer in the South Asian nation for MAX planes.

“We are working closely with all parties involved including our supplier and the DGCA to ensure the maintenance and operation of this specific device complies with all regulatory requirements,” Boeing said in a statement, according to Reuters. “We are committed to ensuring our customers receive high quality simulation experiences in accordance with all regulations.”

The pilots need to retrain successfully and we will take strict action against those found responsible for the lapse, Arun Kumar, the directorate general at India’s air safety watchdog DGCA, told Indian media. A senior DGCA official told Indian media that faults were discovered by the regulator’s inspectors with the “stick shaker” at the simulator facility in Noida. A stick shaker is a mechanical device that warns pilots of an imminent aerodynamic stall by shaking the aircraft’s control yoke violently. “Boeing has said that they will replace the faulty equipment at the Noida facility but till then, no training can happen for the 737 MAX aircraft,” the official said. Boeing owns the facility, which was opened in 2020 for training pilots operating the 737 MAX.

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