MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Canada’s transport minister on Wednesday called for pilots to get flight simulator training to learn how to use new software on the troubled Boeing 737 Max, saying U.S.-suggested computer tutorials are not enough.
The 737 Max has been grounded worldwide since mid-March, when one of the jets crashed in Ethiopia — the second such deadly incident in a matter of months.
The U.S. aerospace giant has since proposed a fix to the plane’s MCAS anti-stall system, which has been implicated in both the Ethiopia crash and one in Indonesia last October.
“We have made it clear that safety will be the guiding factor in the resumption of these flights,” the Canadian minister, Marc Garneau, told a press conference in Montreal.
“Simulators are the very best way from a training point of view to go over exactly what could happen in a real way and to react properly to it,” he said.
Garneau went farther than a group of experts appointed by U.S. aviation regulators, who have suggested that computer and classroom instruction are enough.
“From our point of view, it’s not going to be a question of pulling out an iPad and spending an hour on it,” Garneau said.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a draft report that Boeing’s proposed fix to the 737 Max was “operationally suitable.”
But the actual software fix has not yet been formally submitted to the FAA.
Because the 737 Max is substantially similar to prior versions of the aircraft, pilots are not currently required to undergo extensive additional training.
But the report added the MCAS to the list of items that require “aided instruction,” such as videos or computer-based tutorials.