SpiceJet fined Rs 10 lakh for faulty training of Max plane pilots

SpiceJet is the only Indian airline to have the Max aircraft in its fleet.

New Delhi:

Aviation regulator DGCA has fined SpiceJet Rs 10 lakh for training its Boeing 737 Max pilots on a faulty simulator because it could have harmed flight safety, sources said on Monday.

The Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGCA) last month banned 90 SpiceJet pilots from using the Max plane after it was discovered they were being trained on a simulator with the stick shaker on the co-pilot’s side inoperative. .

The stick shaker alerts pilots whenever it detects that the aircraft has stalled in flight.

After banning the pilots, the regulator issued a show cause notice to the airline in April, the sources told PTI.

The response sent by the airline was not deemed satisfactory, they said.

“The training provided by the airline could have adversely affected flight safety and was therefore cancelled,” one of the sources said.

As a result, the DGCA has fined SpiceJet Rs 10 lakh for using a faulty simulator to train pilots of its Max plane, the sources said.

The airline did not respond to PTI’s request for a statement on this matter.

The DGCA grounded Boeing 737 Max planes in India on March 13, 2019, three days after an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max plane crashed near Addis Ababa, killing 157 people including four Indians.

The ban on the planes was lifted in August last year after the DGCA was satisfied with US aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s necessary software fixes to the plane.

Proper simulator pilot training was also part of the conditions set by the DGCA to lift the ban on Max aircraft after a period of 27 months.

SpiceJet is the only Indian airline to have the Max aircraft in its fleet.

Akasa Air, the new airline backed by ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and aviation veterans Aditya Ghosh and Vinay Dube, signed a deal last November with Boeing to purchase 72 Max planes. Akasa Air has not yet received any of these aircraft.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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