Sir - If the UK Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sir Michael Graydon, can spare the time to look down from his ivory tower, he might be able to discern a large percentage of ex-Royal Air Force pilots leaving the service to get proper jobs as airline pilots. It might astonish him further to learn that even "a proper pilot" ("RAF to test civil training methods", Flight International, 22-28 February, P17) requires a considerable amount of training to qualify to fly with today's airlines.

As far as ab initio training is concerned, I am quite sure (having paid for my own licence) that Sir Michael could get five or six students trained to conversion standard for, say, the cost of decorating an air vice marshal's house.


Sevenoaks, Kent, UK

Sir - Presumably Sir Michael would travel, with his family, on a civilian airliner flown by "sub-standard" pilots; or perhaps he subscribes to the theory that ex-military pilots, with no airline experience, are better at flying passengers than those who have been doing it for years.

There is a world of difference between the various branches of aviation, which I assume is what Sir Michael meant, but perhaps someone in his position should be able to choose better words to make his point.


Halstead, Essex, UK

Source: Flight International