The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has barred 90 SpiceJet pilots from flying Boeing 737 MAX. In fact, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation took this decision after finding out the flaws in simulator training. DGCA chief Arun Kumar said in a statement, “At present, we have stopped all these pilots from flying the Max and they will have to undergo re-training to fly the aircraft successfully.”
Along with this, he also said that if someone does not follow it, then strict action will be taken against them. Pilots will have to undergo proper retraining on the MAX simulator. Boeing 737 MAX planes were grounded in India by the DGCA on March 13, 2019, three days after the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX plane crashed near Addis Ababa, killing 157 people, including four Indians.
The ban on these aircraft was lifted in August last year after the DGCA was satisfied with necessary software improvements to the aircraft of US-based aircraft maker Boeing. The DGCA’s stipulations for lifting the ban on MAX aircraft after a period of 27 months also included proper pilot training on the simulator. A SpiceJet spokesperson today confirmed that the DGCA has banned 90 pilots of the airline from flying Max aircraft.
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SpiceJet has 650 pilots trained on Boeing 737 MAX. “This restriction does not affect the operation of MAX aircraft. SpiceJet currently operates 11 MAX aircraft and approximately 144 pilots are required to operate these aircraft,” the spokesperson said. “Out of 650 trained pilots on MAX. 560 are still available, which is much more than the current requirement.” SpiceJet is the only Indian airline to have Max aircraft in its fleet.
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