July 6, 2022
SpiceJet Grounds 90 Boeing 737 MAX Pilots
Airlines Industry Safety

SpiceJet Grounds 90 Boeing 737 MAX Pilots

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

The flaws were discovered during a surveillance check at the CAE Simulation Training facility on March 30, 2022, according to an SG statement cited by the Indian news outlet Business Standard. During the said inspection, India’s civil aviation regulator discovered an inoperative stick shaker on the first officer’s side of the simulator used to train pilots.

The DGCA penalized the airline US$12,888 (Rs10Lakh), ruling that the carrier’s pilot training had a negative impact on flight safety. According to local media, the fine was issued on May 30, 2022.

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 for its restricted pilots.

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

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

Spicejet Boeing 737-8 MAX in Primer livery. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways

Comments from SpiceJet, DGCA

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

 SpiceJet said in the statement the affected pilots would “undergo re-training to the satisfaction of DGCA,” adding that the restrictions did not impact the operations of MAX aircraft and that the company had adequately trained pilots available for its operations. 

SpiceJet is now India’s only 737 MAX operator. However, Akasa (QP), a new airline expected to launch in the summer of 2022, has bought 72 of the types.

Featured image: SpiceJet VT-MXA Boeing 737-8. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Chief Online Editor
Chief Online Editor at Airways Magazine, AVSEC interpreter and visual artist; grammar geek, an avid fan of aviation, motorcycles, sci-fi literature, and film.

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