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Friday, June 9, 2023

SpiceJet has grounded 90 Boeing 737 MAX pilots following a DGCA fine

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After obtaining a fine from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for violating pilot training regulations, SpiceJet has barred 90 pilots from flying Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

The problems were discovered during a surveillance check at the CAE Simulation Training facility on March 30, 2022, according to a SpiceJet statement seen by Indian news outlet Business Standard on June 6, 2022.

“These pilots undergo re-training to the satisfaction of DGCA. This restriction does not impact the operations of MAX aircraft and the company has adequately trained pilots available for its operations. Basis the observation of DGCA these 90 pilots shall undergo re-training,” SpiceJet said in the statement.

India’s civil aviation regulator discovered an inoperative stick shaker on the first officer’s side of the simulator used to train pilots during the inspection.

The DGCA penalized the airline $12,888 (Rs 10 lakh), ruling that the carrier’s pilot training had a negative impact on flight safety. As a result, training for 90 of the 650 Boeing 737 MAX flight crew members was canceled, and the airline was forced to reschedule a proper simulator session.

“Training being imparted by SpiceJet could have adversely affected flight safety and was nullified,” the DGCA concluded following the surveillance check.

The limited pilots will have to go through another round of training.

The DGCA’s recent results come nine months after the regulator lifted a prohibition on commercial passenger flights using Boeing 737 MAX jets.

SpiceJet now has 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet, according to the airline’s website.

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