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Canada transport minister says simulator needed for 737 MAX fix

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By Reuters
Canada transport minister says simulator needed for 737 MAX fix
FILE PHOTO: An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is seen on the ground at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo   -   Copyright  Chris Helgren(Reuters)

MONTREAL (Reuters) – New training requirements for Boeing Co’s grounded 737 MAX jet should include time in a flight simulator, Canada’s transport minister said on Wednesday.

“It’s not going to be a question of pulling out an iPad and spending an hour on it,” said Marc Garneau. “Simulators are the very best way, from a training point of view, to go over what could happen in a real way and to react properly to it.”

His comments came after a draft report from a board appointed by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said additional training was needed, but a simulator would not be required.

Garneau told Reuters a software fix and new training are needed before the plane can fly again in Canada, and the training must include time in a simulator, so pilots can rehearse the circumstances of the Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October.

In that crash as well as the Ethiopian Airlines disaster on March 10, pilots lost control of the planes soon after taking off. Investigators are focused in part on an anti-stall system called the MCAS, or manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system, which can repeatedly push the plane’s nose down.

(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal, editing by G Crosse)