The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of Inspector General announced on Monday that it has initiated an audit of the FAA’s pilot training requirements due to concerns raised by the fatal crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019, both Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The audit will review “domestic and international pilot training standards related to commercial passenger aircraft, including the use of automation.” It was requested by the chairmen and the ranking members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and its Subcommittee on Aviation.
“These fatal accidents have drawn widespread attention to FAA’s oversight and certification practices, including the Agency’s process for establishing pilot training requirements for the aircraft,” Assistant Inspector General for Aviation Audits Matthew Hampton said in a memo (PDF). “According to the Lion Air accident report, the pilots’ responses to erroneous activations of MCAS contributed to the crash, raising international concerns about the role of pilot training.”
According to the Inspector General’s office, the objectives of the audit are to evaluate the FAA’s process for establishing pilot training requirements for air carriers operating U.S.-certificated passenger aircraft and to review international requirements “for air carrier pilot training regarding the use of flight deck automation.” The audit is expected to begin later this month.