Boeing rushed to introduce a plane to compete, when Airbus announced in 2010 that it would introduce a new fuel-efficient and cost-effective plane.
Instead of coming out with new design, Boeing introduced 737MAX, which was derived from its successful workhorse 737 jet with little modification. Since Boeing wanted to keep the cost down, it introduced the jet saying no additional training is required for the pilots who are already fully trained to fly 737s,- a significant savings for airlines.
FAA also agreed that additional simulator training was not required as it was derived from its predecessor 737.
Typically an airline would spend millions in training pilots when a new model is purchased, and for MAX, many pilots were trained on iPad, according to New York Times.
In order get the plane as soon as possible into the market, “They(Boeing) were building the airplane and still designing it,”…. “The data to build a simulator didn’t become available until about when the plane was ready to fly.” said Greg Bowen, the training and standards chair at the Southwest pilots association to ‘New York times‘.
“When United was set to take delivery of the 737 Max in 2017, a group of pilots put together training materials without ever flying the aircraft or a full simulator. James LaRosa, a 737 captain and union official who helped lead the training group, said he flew to a Boeing training center in Seattle to learn about the new plane on a mock cockpit that didn’t move like typical simulators.”
“In addition to a two-hour iPad training course from Boeing, he and colleagues used their experience in the cockpit to create a 13-page handbook on the differences between the Max and its predecessor, including changes to displays and the engines. The training materials did not mention the new software that later became a focus of the Lion Air crash investigation.” reported New York Times.
Boeing said in a statement that “the 737 Max was certified in accordance with the identical F.A.A. requirements and processes that have governed certification of all previous new airplanes and derivatives.”…report added.