The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ruled that 90 SpiceJet pilots are unsuitable to fly the Boeing 737 Max and has stopped them from flying until they finish another round of training.
"For the time being, we have restricted these pilots from flying the Max aircraft and they must successfully retrain for it," DGCA chief Arun Kumar told India Today Television.
According to sources, the'stick shaker,' which vibrates swiftly and loudly to alert the cockpit crew if the aircraft is resisting lift, was malfunctioning on the simulator during the SpiceJet pilots' training.
After 346 people perished in two disasters in five months — Lion Air JT610 and Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 — the Boeing 737 Max aircraft was grounded globally, including in India, in March 2019.
After the aircraft manufacturer took remedial steps, the restriction was removed in December 2020.
In August 2021, the Boeing 737 Max aircraft was given permission to fly again in India; nevertheless, only SpiceJet has B737 Max aircraft in its fleet.
Confirming the development, a SpiceJet spokesperson told India Today Television, "SpiceJet has 650 pilots trained on the Boeing 737 Max. The DGCA made an observation on the training profile of 90 pilots. As per the advice of the DGCA, SpiceJet has restricted 90 pilots from operating the Max aircraft until they undergo re-training to the satisfaction of the DGCA. These pilots continue to remain available for other Boeing 737 aircraft."