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  4. DGCA fines SpiceJet Rs 10 lakh for training Boeing 737 Max aircraft pilots on faulty simulator

DGCA fines SpiceJet Rs 10 lakh for training Boeing 737 Max aircraft pilots on faulty simulator

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

Hritika Mitra Edited by: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika New Delhi Published on: May 30, 2022 20:27 IST
Proper pilot training on the simulator was also among the
Image Source : FILE PHOTO

Proper pilot training on the simulator was also among the conditions set by the DGCA for lifting the ban on the Max planes after a span of 27 months.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday slapped a fine of Rs.10 lakh on SpiceJet airlines for training its pilots flying the Boeing 737 Max aircraft with a faulty simulator, officials said. The aviation regulator had issued a show-cause notice to the airline in April. 

DGCA also suspended Air Traffic Controller (ATC) for 3 months for involvement in approving the take-off of 2 IndiGo flights at Bengaluru Airport. It also issued a warning letter to the tower supervisor for not monitoring the activities of ATC Tower and not reporting similar incidents. 

Last month the aviation regulator had barred 90 SpiceJet pilots from operating the Max aircraft after it found them being trained on a simulator that had its stick shaker on the co-pilot's side inoperative. Stick shaker warns pilots whenever it detects that the plane has stalled mid-air. 

The response to the show-cause notice sent by the airline was not found satisfactory, they mentioned. "The training being imparted by the airline could have adversely affected flight safety and hence was nullified," one of the sources said. Therefore, the DGCA has imposed a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on SpiceJet for using a faulty simulator to train their Max aircraft's pilots, 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 aircraft 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 rectifications in the aircraft.

Proper pilot training on the simulator was also among the conditions set by the DGCA for lifting the ban on the Max planes after a span of 27 months.

SpiceJet is the only Indian airline that has 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, had in November last year signed a deal with Boeing to purchase 72 Max planes. Akasa Air has not received any of these planes as yet.

(With PTI Inputs) 

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