Regulators can’t decide how much training pilots need to fly the Boeing 737 Max, and it could result in even longer delays to the aircraft’s return

FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX airplanes parked at the Boeing Factory in Renton, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019.  REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

  • Regulators are debating the level of training that Boeing 737 Max pilots will need before the plane can return to service.
  • Aviation authorities around the world are attempting to decide if pilots need training on expensive flight simulators, or just an online course.
  • Flight simulator training could delay the return of the 737 Max to the skies even further.
  • Regulators outside the US could also disagree with the FAA’s criteria, which would mean the plane could return to service in some regions sooner than in others.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Regulators in the US and around the world are debating the level of training needed by pilots of Boeing 737 Max aircraft before the plane can be approved to fly again after two fatal crashes.

Regulators are considering whether pilots need to fly on a simulator or just complete computer-based training, and the decision could determine when the 737 Max, already a source of frustration for airlines who have have had to ground the plane for the last two months, can return to the skies.

Regulators from 33 countries met with the US Federal Aviation Administration last week to ask about Boeing’s software update to the planes, which has been completed but not submitted to the FAA for approval.

Read more: Even more airlines are demanding payback from Boeing for its 737 Max disasters — here’s the full list

But at the meeting regulators were also conflicted over whether pilots should train in a simulator, which could leave the plane grounded for the months to come, The New York Times reported after the meeting. 

The timeline for when the plane will return is unclear, with Boeing and the FAA eager to return the plane to the sky, but concerned that both their reputations have already taken a hit. 

Ethiopian Airlines boeing 737 Max crash

Sources told Reuters that the FAA told members of the UN’s aviation agency that the plane could return to service as early as late June. But Daniel Elwell, the acting administrator of the FAA, said last week that he could not outline a clear timeline.

“We can’t be driven by some arbitrary timeline,” he said on Thursday. “I don’t have September as a target, I don’t have June as a target.”

Read more: Boeing dismissed fears of a 2nd 737 Max crash when confronted by pilots after the plane’s first disaster, leaked audio reveals

Prior to the disasters, 737 Max pilots were not trained on simulators, and the FAA said in April that pilots would not need simulator training

But experts told the Financial Times that the FAA appears to be changing its stance in light of concerns by other regulators. 

FAA house transportation committee daniel elwell

Elwell told global regulators last week that simulator training is a possibility, the FT reported.

A representative of an unnamed large US pilots union told the FT that Elwell is “trying to be responsive to what other countries are feeling — and they may be feeling political pressure. That’s why he’s vacillating.”

Different regulators could have different requirements

Elwell signaled last week that it would benefit the FAA if other regulators approved the 737 Max at the same time.

“If they unground relatively close to when we unground, I think it would help with public confidence,” he said.

But Europe has outlined its own demands that must be met before the plane can return, including that the crews flying the planes are “adequately trained.” The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) did not outline what that training would entail.

Read more: Europe has outlined its own demands for letting Boeing’s 737 Max return to the skies, instead of relying on the US

And Canada, which also said it would have its own requirements, said last week that simulator training was a “possible option” for 737 Max pilots.

Pilots were not trained on simulators before the two deadly crashes

Training with a simulator is expensive and time-consuming, with the FT reporting that the simulators can cost up to $15 million and an hour’s training can cost up to $1,000. 

Boeing 737 Max 8 cockpit

Pilots unions told CNN that 737 Max pilots were trained with a self-administered online course that took a maximum of three hours and was conducted on iPads.

The lack of simulator training was initially seen as a benefit for Boeing, which designed the plane with a minimum of changes compared to other 737 models in an attempt to appeal to airlines that didn’t want to undertake expensive and time-consuming pilot training.

Read more: Taped conversation shows Boeing execs downplaying importance of absent safety feature on 737 Max

The preliminary investigations into the two crashes identified an issue with the planes MCAS software system. In both the Lion Air crash in October 2018, which killed 189 people, and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March 2019, which killed 157 people, the nose of the plane repeatedly pointed down and could not be controlled by pilots.

Pilots say they were not informed about this system in training, a move that Boeing defended after the first crash by telling pilots that “we try not to overload the crews with information that’s unnecessary.”

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg also defended the communication about the system after the second crash by  saying it was “embedded” into the way pilots handled the plane, and so “when you train on the airplane, you are being trained on MCAS.”

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg

“It’s not a separate system to be trained on,” he said.

Pilots from the union representing American Airlines pilots told Boeing after the first crash that they wanted more information about MCAS and the 737 Max, a recording shared with Business Insider by the union showed.

“We flat out deserve to know what is on our airplanes,” one pilot said. 

Boeing says that it is working with closely regulators and that the plane will be one of the safest planes ever to fly when it returns.

Do you work at Boeing or the FAA, or are you a pilot? Got a tip or a story to share? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +353 86 335 0386 using a non-work phone, or email her at sbaker@businessinsider.com, or Twitter DM her at @sineadbaker1.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The history behind ‘slabs,’ the custom cars with an important place in Houston’s hip-hop community

Regulators in the US and around the world are debating the level of training needed by pilots of Boeing 737 Max aircraft before the plane can be approved to fly again after two fatal crashes.

Regulators are considering whether pilots need to fly on a simulator or just complete computer-based training, and the decision could determine when the 737 Max, already a source of frustration for airlines who have have had to ground the plane for the last two months, can return to the skies.

Regulators from 33 countries met with the US Federal Aviation Administration last week to ask about Boeing’s software update to the planes, which has been completed but not submitted to the FAA for approval.

Read more: Even more airlines are demanding payback from Boeing for its 737 Max disasters — here’s the full list

But at the meeting regulators were also conflicted over whether pilots should train in a simulator, which could leave the plane grounded for the months to come, The New York Times reported after the meeting.

The timeline for when the plane will return is unclear, with Boeing and the FAA eager to return the plane to the sky, but concerned that both their reputations have already taken a hit.

Debris from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane in March 2019.
MICHAEL TEWELDE/AFP/Getty Images

Sources told Reuters that the FAA told members of the UN’s aviation agency that the plane could return to service as early as late June. But Daniel Elwell, the acting administrator of the FAA, said last week that he could not outline a clear timeline.

“We can’t be driven by some arbitrary timeline,” he said on Thursday. “I don’t have September as a target, I don’t have June as a target.”

Read more: Boeing dismissed fears of a 2nd 737 Max crash when confronted by pilots after the plane’s first disaster, leaked audio reveals

Prior to the disasters, 737 Max pilots were not trained on simulators, and the FAA said in April that pilots would not need simulator training.

But experts told the Financial Times that the FAA appears to be changing its stance in light of concerns by other regulators.

Daniel Elwell, acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, talks to the parents of an Ethiopian crash victim on May 15, 2019.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Elwell told global regulators last week that simulator training is a possibility, the FT reported.

A representative of an unnamed large US pilots union told the FT that Elwell is “trying to be responsive to what other countries are feeling — and they may be feeling political pressure. That’s why he’s vacillating.”

Different regulators could have different requirements

Elwell signaled last week that it would benefit the FAA if other regulators approved the 737 Max at the same time.

“If they unground relatively close to when we unground, I think it would help with public confidence,” he said.

But Europe has outlined its own demands that must be met before the plane can return, including that the crews flying the planes are “adequately trained.” The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) did not outline what that training would entail.

Read more: Europe has outlined its own demands for letting Boeing’s 737 Max return to the skies, instead of relying on the US

And Canada, which also said it would have its own requirements, said last week that simulator training was a “possible option” for 737 Max pilots.

Pilots were not trained on simulators before the two deadly crashes

Training with a simulator is expensive and time-consuming, with the FT reporting that the simulators can cost up to $15 million and an hour’s training can cost up to $1,000.

The cockpit of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in June 2018.
REUTERS/Abhirup Roy

Pilots unions told CNN that 737 Max pilots were trained with a self-administered online course that took a maximum of three hours and was conducted on iPads.

The lack of simulator training was initially seen as a benefit for Boeing, which designed the plane with a minimum of changes compared to other 737 models in an attempt to appeal to airlines that didn’t want to undertake expensive and time-consuming pilot training.

Read more: Taped conversation shows Boeing execs downplaying importance of absent safety feature on 737 Max

The preliminary investigations into the two crashes identified an issue with the planes MCAS software system. In both the Lion Air crash in October 2018, which killed 189 people, and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March 2019, which killed 157 people, the nose of the plane repeatedly pointed down and could not be controlled by pilots.

Pilots say they were not informed about this system in training, a move that Boeing defended after the first crash by telling pilots that “we try not to overload the crews with information that’s unnecessary.”

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg also defended the communication about the system after the second crash by saying it was “embedded” into the way pilots handled the plane, and so “when you train on the airplane, you are being trained on MCAS.”

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg at a press conference after Boeing’s annual shareholders meeting in Chicago in April.
Jim Young-Pool/Getty Images

“It’s not a separate system to be trained on,” he said.

Pilots from the union representing American Airlines pilots told Boeing after the first crash that they wanted more information about MCAS and the 737 Max, a recording shared with Business Insider by the union showed.

“We flat out deserve to know what is on our airplanes,” one pilot said.

Boeing says that it is working with closely regulators and that the plane will be one of the safest planes ever to fly when it returns.

Do you work at Boeing or the FAA, or are you a pilot? Got a tip or a story to share? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +353 86 335 0386 using a non-work phone, or email her at sbaker@businessinsider.com, or Twitter DM her at @sineadbaker1.

Sammy Singh

Graduate of UCLA and Wharton School of Business and Media Personality. World renowned global entrepreneur, venture capitalist, financial technology professional, tax specialist, marketing mogul, and more! Connect with me at: www.linkedin.com/in/cfo www.instagram.com/champagnegqpapi www.facebook.com/sammysinghcxo www.twitter.com/cxosynergy

Next Post

AMC Theatres now has over 50 million people using its Stubs program thanks to free benefits and a movie-ticket subscription (AMC)

Wed May 29 , 2019
<div><p><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5cd445cc021b4c534b12ebc2-2400/amc%20ap.jpg" border="0" alt="AMC AP" data-mce-source="AP"></p><p></p> <ul class="summary-list"><li>AMC Stubs, the membership program for AMC Theatres, has surpassed 20 million households.</li> <li>According to the chain, more than 50 million moviegoers in the US are using Stubs.</li> <li>The three-tier program is made up of the $15-a-year Stubs Premiere; Stubs Insider, which is free; and Stubs A-List, its movie-ticket subscription platform, which starts at $19.95.</li> <li>A-List on its own recently crossed 800,000 subscribers.</li> <li>The growth of Stubs has led to AMC sending out more than 1.5 billion personalized e-mails, text messages, and mobile app notifications in 2019 so far.</li> <li>"That's the basis of our whole marketing platform," Stephen Colanero, Chief Marketing Officer at AMC, told Business Insider. "Get people to sign up for AMC Stubs, see what movies they see, get them personalized messages based on that, which gets them more excited to see movies in the future."</li> <li><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/?hprecirc-bullet">Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.</a></li> </ul><p> </p> <p>AMC Theatres' AMC Stubs program has surpassed 20 million households, the chain divulged to Business Insider ahead of the announcement of the milestone, which will be released Tuesday.</p> <p>According to the company, more than 50 million moviegoers in the US are using Stubs.</p> <p>The chain's popular three-tier membership program has been in the news more often since the launch of Stubs A-List, AMC's movie-ticket subscription program. A-List costs $19.95 a month (or $21.95, or $23.95 a month in various regions of the country) and lets you see three movies per week. A-List, which launched in June of 2018, recently crossed 800,000 subscribers to become the largest movie-ticket subscription service. <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/moviepass-down-from-3-million-subscribers-to-225000-users-data-2019-4">Business Insider</a> reported in April that A-List rival MoviePass dropped from over 3 million subscribers to around 225,000, according to leaked internal data.</p> <p>But the growth of Stubs as a whole isn't just from the popularity of A-List.</p> <p>The Stubs program launched in 2011 to little fanfare as the only option was Stubs Premiere, a $15 yearly membership with perks ranging from free popcorn and soda refills to the waiving of online ticketing fees. In 2016, Stubs was relaunched with the inclusion of a second tier, Stubs Insider. And unlike Premiere, it was free to sign up for.</p> <p>The Stubs Insider perks included a free large popcorn on your birthday, discounted tickets on Tuesdays, and online ticket fees waived when you ordered four or more tickets.</p> <p>"It really gave access to people who weren't willing to spend in the initial program," Stephen Colanero, Chief Marketing Officer at AMC, told Business Insider. "Creating a free tier gave people the basic benefits and really grew our numbers."</p> <p>Since 2016, Stubs has seen 700% membership growth. That growth has helped AMC build a way to specifically connect with customers and keep them up-to-date on the kind of movies they like to see. The chain said in 2019 alone, it has already sent out more than 1.5 billion personalized e-mails, text messages, and mobile app notifications.</p> <p><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/5ce69171df29c827a7450eb3-1920/avengers%20endgame%20disney.jpg" border="0" alt="avengers endgame disney" data-mce-source="Disney">"That's the basis of our whole marketing platform," Colanero said. "Get people to sign up for AMC Stubs, see what movies they see, get them personalized messages based on that, which gets them more excited to see movies in the future."</p> <p>To give an example of the power of Stubs' membership base, Colanero pointed out the day "Avengers: Endgame" tickets were available online. AMC's online ticketing service (as well as many other chains) crashed trying to handle the onslaught of online tickets being purchased, and he noted that a big reason for that was Stubs subscribers.</p> <p>"Our Stubs members were ready to go when the tickets went on sale and they hit us pretty hard," Colanero said with a laugh looking back on it now. The opening weekend of "Endgame" was the best ever for AMC as it broke records for tickets sold as well as food and beverage.</p> <p><em><strong>Read more</strong></em>: <em><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/booksmart-from-hyped-2009-script-to-a-2019-hit-movie-2019-5">How "Booksmart" went from a 2009 script collecting dust to this year's must-see movie of the summer</a></em></p> <p>"Our guests are prepared and know what's coming because we have been feeding them all along what to expect," Colanero said.</p> <p>Among the three big movie chains in the nation, AMC has the most robust membership program. Cinemark offers two tiers with its Movie Rewards: Movie Fan is the free option, which offers perks like popcorn and drink refills, along with access to advance screenings; while Movie Club is its $8.99-per-month movie-ticket subscription plan for one ticket per month (unused tickets roll over) and no online ticket fees. Regal's Crown Club is a program where you earn 100 credits for every $1 spent, which you can use for free movies and concessions once you build enough credits.</p> <p>Colanero was mum on any new additions to AMC Stubs in the future, but there are new features for all AMC customers expanding this summer to many of the chain's theaters in the US.</p> <p>Since Memorial Day, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/amc-theatres-will-have-reserved-seating-at-most-theaters-by-memorial-day-2019-5">reserved seating has been available at all theaters</a> (except AMC Classic theaters), and more AMCs are introducing the option for customers to order food or drinks before they get to the multiplex. Those are two things Colanero said should make Stubs members happy.</p> <p>"They are the vast majority of people who order online and order ahead," he said.</p><p><strong>SEE ALSO: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/netflix-execs-battling-disney-and-rivals-2019-5">Meet the power players at Netflix leading the streaming giant's defense against Disney and other rivals</a></strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/amc-stubs-crosses-20-million-households-50-million-people-2019-5#comments">Join the conversation about this story »</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/game-of-thrones-season-8-episode-4-details-missed-easter-eggs-2019-5">14 details in 'Game of Thrones' season 8 episode 4 you may have missed</a></p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?a=KZ2X8_ICp0E:HRVNt1HJI0c:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?i=KZ2X8_ICp0E:HRVNt1HJI0c:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?a=KZ2X8_ICp0E:HRVNt1HJI0c:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?a=KZ2X8_ICp0E:HRVNt1HJI0c:bcOpcFrp8Mo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo" border="0"></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?a=KZ2X8_ICp0E:HRVNt1HJI0c:gIN9vFwOqvQ"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?i=KZ2X8_ICp0E:HRVNt1HJI0c:gIN9vFwOqvQ" border="0"></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?a=KZ2X8_ICp0E:HRVNt1HJI0c:cGdyc7Q-1BI"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?d=cGdyc7Q-1BI" border="0"></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?a=KZ2X8_ICp0E:HRVNt1HJI0c:QXVau8BzmBE"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?d=QXVau8BzmBE" border="0"></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?a=KZ2X8_ICp0E:HRVNt1HJI0c:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?a=KZ2X8_ICp0E:HRVNt1HJI0c:7Q72WNTAKBA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider?d=7Q72WNTAKBA" border="0"></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider/~4/KZ2X8_ICp0E" height="1" width="1" alt=""></div>
%d bloggers like this: