Pilot unions warn new FAA proposal for Boeing 737 Max training not enough
U.S. pilot unions are warning that a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposal for Boeing 737 Max training should be improved for safety purposes.
The union that represents Southwest Airlines pilots said in a statement Monday the FAA should reduce the number of steps pilots must remember and perform in the event of an emergency, USA Today reported.
The union said “error rates increase exponentially” with long checklists, and pilots during simulation “found it difficult to recall the steps in order.”
The 737 Max models have been grounded worldwide following deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019.
American Airlines pilots said 737 Max pilots should train for such emergencies every two years, not every three years, as the FAA suggests.
The FAA could publish a final rule on the Max’s instructions within weeks. Monday was the deadline for comments about the training proposal.
In response to a request for comment on the pilots’ concerns, the FAA told The Hill: “The comment period on the draft Flight Standardization Board report ended on Nov. 2 and the FAA will consider every comment we received.”
Boeing is expecting FAA approval before the end of this year, marking one of the last steps needed for the Max to return to the skies.
The aerospace company has spent two years making adjustments to an automated flight-control system that has been implicated in the deadly crashes.
The 2018 crash in Indonesia left 189 people dead, and 157 people died the following year in the crash in Ethiopia.
The FAA has introduced new training procedures to teach pilots how to respond to an unexpected nose-down pitch like the one that contributed to the fatal crashes.
Families of victims in the 2019 crash called the FAA’s changes inadequate.