Aviation regulator DGCA has fined SpiceJet Rs 10 lakh for training the pilots of its Boeing 737 Max aircraft on a malfunctioning simulator as it could adversely affect flight safety, sources said Monday.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had banned 90 SpiceJet pilots from flying the Max aircraft last month after finding that they were being trained on a simulator whose stick shaker on the copilot’s side was not working.
Stick shaker warns pilots when it detects the plane is stuck in mid-air.
After blocking the pilots, the regulator issued a statement about the cause to the airline in April, the sources told PTI.
The airline’s response was not found to be satisfactory, they said.
“The training provided by the airline may have negatively impacted flight safety and has therefore been nullified,” said one of the sources.
As a result, the DGCA has fined SpiceJet of Rs 10 lakh for using a faulty simulator to train the pilots of their Max aircraft, the sources said.
The airline has not responded to PTI’s request for a statement.
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-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s necessary software fixes on the plane.
Proper training of pilots on the simulator was also one of the conditions set by the DGCA to lift the ban on the Max aircraft after 27 months.
SpiceJet is the only Indian airline to have the Max aircraft in its fleet.
Akasa Air, the new airline backed by top investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and aviation veterans Aditya Ghosh and Vinay Dube, had signed a deal with Boeing last November to purchase 72 Max aircraft. Akasa Air has not yet received any of these aircraft.
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