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Friday 15 April 2022

Sorry: Your pilots are not properly trained

Imagine flying with an airline whose pilots are not properly trained?

Sounds like a nightmare, right?

But this week India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) barred 90 SpiceJet pilots from operating Boeing 737 Max aircraft after finding they had not been adequately prepared for the job, the Press Trust of India reported.

DGCA has issued show-cause notices to both SpiceJet and training organisation CSTPL for not giving proper training to 90 pilots on the 737 Max simulator, officials said.

The officials said the stick shaker - a piece of equipment that vibrates when the aircraft is unable to lift itself - was not functioning in the Max simulator of CAE Simulation Training Pvt Ltd (CSTPL) when the pilots were being trained.

SpiceJet decided to continue training its pilots at the facility Delhi despite knowing that equipment at the said training centre was faulty, The Indian Express reported

A SpiceJet spokesperson said, "We have received a communication from the regulator on the matter and the airline shall submit its reply within the specified period."

How very encouraging.

"We would like to reiterate that safety and security of our operations and passengers are of utmost importance which is manifested in our outstanding track record. None of our operations are compromised and they are in line with the international safety standards," the spokesperson added.

The 90 pilots will now have to undergo training again in an approved manner.

The Boeing 737 Max planes were grounded in India by the DGCA on March 13, 2019, three days after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max aircraft near Addis Ababa which killed 157 people.

The ban on the planes was lifted in August last year after the DGCA was satisfied with US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing's necessary software modifications to the aircraft.

Proper pilot training on the simulator was also among the conditions set by the DGCA for removing the ban on the Max planes. The pilots continue to remain available for other Boeing 737 aircraft.

SpiceJet is an Indian low-cost airline based in Gurgaon, Haryana. It is the second largest airline in the country by number of domestic passengers. 

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