Unionized pilots at American Airlines claim they are getting locked out from testing a safety fix for the Boeing 737 MAX. The Allied Pilots Union is accusing American of not allowing their experts from testing out the proposed software fix – but American says they will get simulator time once the airframe software systems are certified.
Even though Boeing claims a fix is prepared for the Boeing 737 MAX, American Airlines’ pilot’s union say they can’t touch the aircraft simulator yet. Newsy reports safety experts for the Allied Pilots Association allege the airline has not given them access to simulators since the grounding.
In May 2019, the Chicago-based manufacturer claimed a software update is ready for the aircraft, which would make it air worthy once more. However, the airframes remain grounded in the United States and all over the world. American Airlines’ latest round of cancellations extends through Sept. 3, 2019.
With a proposed fix offered, American Airlines’ pilots say they are ready to test the changes. However, their union is accusing the Fort Worth-based carrier of banning them from accessing the simulators to see if it truly is a fix.
“Frankly, our view is that, after the certification is completed, it would be almost a ceremonial participation,” Allied Pilots Association spokesperson Jason Goldberg told Newsy. “Our view is we’re concerned that that would just give the impression of our approval without us having been involved in the collaborative process of actually getting the aircraft to that point.”
In a previous statement to FlyerTalk, a spokesperson for American said that the pilots would be in the center of any decision to fly the aircraft once more.
“We remain confident that the impending software updates, along with these new training element [sic], will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon,” the airline said. “Our team continues to work collaboratively with the [Federal Aviation Administration], Boeing and the Allied Pilots Association in this process.”
But now, the union is accusing the airline of banning them from gaining access to simulator time to ensure the fix is correct. Speaking to Newsy, the airline claimed pilots could get broader access to simulators once the FAA certifies the software fix.
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