Boeing added the MCAS system to the 737 MAX so pilots didn't have to go through expensive simulator training to get used to the changed flight profile caused by the engine redesign. Do pilots still not need that additional training now that the software has hopefully been fixed and the plane is cleared to fly again?


2 Answers 2


One of the conditions for allowing the 737 MAX to operate again, was additional simulator training for all pilots. In principle, each aviation authority can make their own rules, but the 4 big western authorities worked together to establish common criteria for the MAX's return to service:

EASA, and regulators in Canada and Brazil, worked closely with the FAA and Boeing throughout the last 20 months to return the plane safely to operations.

(EASA declares Boeing 737 MAX safe to return to service in Europe)

In Europe, the new Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-0039R2 requires simulator training for all MAX pilots:

[E]very individual 737 MAX pilot needs to undergo a once-off special training, including simulator training, to ensure that they are fully familiar with the redesigned 737 MAX and trained to handle specific scenarios which may arise in flight. This will be reinforced by recurrent training to ensure the knowledge is kept fresh.


In summary, the EASA Airworthiness Directive mandates the following main actions:

  • Software updates for the flight control computer, including the MCAS
  • Software updates to display an alert in case of disagreement between the two AoA sensors
  • Physical separation of wires routed from the cockpit to the stabiliser trim motor
  • Updates to flight manuals: operational limitations and improved procedures to equip pilots to understand and manage all relevant failure scenarios
  • Mandatory training for all 737 MAX pilots before they fly the plane again, and updates of the initial and recurrent training of pilots on the MAX
  • Tests of systems including the AoA sensor system
  • An operational readiness flight, without passengers, before commercial usage of each aircraft to ensure that all design changes have been correctly implemented and the aircraft successfully and safely brought out of its long period of storage.

(EASA declares Boeing 737 MAX safe to return to service in Europe, emphasis mine)


Simulator and ground training has to be completed to fly the B737 MAX.

The FAA establishes a Flight Standardization Board and creates a Flight Standardization Board Report (FSBR) for many large jet and propeller aircraft. This report, among other things, is used to "Publish recommendations for FAA inspectors to use in approving an operator's training program."

With respect to the B737 Max, as shown in appendix 7 to revision 18, dated 03/03/2021, of the B737 FSBR, "No pilot may operate the 737 MAX unless the ground and flight training documented in this appendix has been completed."

The image below shows the relevant pages of Appendix 7 to the B737 FSBR regarding training for the B737 Max:

(highlighting and emphasis are mine)

enter image description here


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .