Sir - I read Mark Gibbs' letter (Flight International, 26 July-1 August, P39), about his search for sponsorship towards a commercial pilot's licence (CPL).
I hold a frozen air transport pilot's licence (ATPL), having recently passed the papers to upgrade my CPL, which I gained in early 1992,but I see no opening yet to a flying career.
I suppose I must be one of Mr Gibbs' "lucky minority" who are "...fortunate enough to be able to self-fund their training", the cost of which to date has been my house, car, savings and a hefty residual bank loan - not to mention the doubts cast on my sanity. Should I eventually get a flying job, however, it will all be worth it.
Mr Gibbs appears to think that someone, somewhere, owes him a sponsorship. This is not the case. Airlines are there to make money, like any other business, and will only undertake training when it is to their advantage, setting their own criteria for candidate selection.
Right now there are quite a few people, who are ready to go at minimum costs and who are, presumably, a more attractive proposition to a cash-conscious airline, than a sponsorship applicant.
While I wish Mr Gibbs luck in his search, I would suggest that, while he is waiting, he should put his obviously prolific writing skills to better use and get started on a CPL correspondence course.
Strathclyde, Scotland, UK
Source: Flight International