SpiceJet grounds 90 Boeing 737 MAX pilots after DGCA fine

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Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet has restricted 90 pilots from operating Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after receiving a fine from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for violating pilot training requirements. 

According to a statement from SpiceJet, seen by Indian news outlet Business Standard on June 6, 2022, the faults were found during a surveillance check, which took place on March 30, 2022, at the CAE Simulation Training facility. 

 ”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. 

During the check, India’s civil aviation regulator an inoperative stick shaker on the first officer’s side of the simulator used to train the pilots.  

The DGCA fined the carrier $12,888 (Rs 10 lakh), concluding that pilot training could have negatively affected flight safety. As a result, training for 90 out of a total 650 Boeing 737 MAX flight crew members was annulled and the carrier was required to re-organize 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 restricted pilots will now have to undergo another training session. 

The DGCA’s recent findings come nine months after the regulator lifted a ban on Boeing 737 MAX planes for commercial passenger flight operations.  

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


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