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FAA panel adds MCAS review to 737 Max pilot training standards

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) panel has updated pilot training standards to ensure 737 Max pilots understand the aircraft’s manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS).

The updated standards are included in a revised report written by an FAA flight standardisation board – a body that determines pilot training requirements and ensures competency of cockpit crew members.

“The purpose of this revision is to add the [737 Max’s] manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS)”, says the report, which was released on 16 April and remains open to comment until 30 April.

The MCAS system has been implicated by investigators as a factor contributing to two recent 737 Max crashes.

Under a section titled “special emphasis areas” for pilot training, the report lists MCAS.

“MCAS ground training must address system description, functionality, associated failure conditions and flight crew alerting. These items must be included in initial, upgrade, transition, differences and recurrent training,” it says.

Additionally, the report says that in March the flight standardisation board “conducted an evaluation of the modified manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system… for training and checking differences determination”.

“The MCAS system was found to be operationally suitable,” it adds.

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