Having read your article "Decent pilots or your money back" (Flight International, 26 November- 2 December), I am a little confused. If the prerequisite to obtaining a commercial pilot's licence with instrument rating and frozen ATPL is to pass the extremely high standards set by the UK Civil Aviation Authority/European Joint Aviation Authorities, the way this is achieved, or more pertinently, how cheaply it is achieved, should be irrelevant.

Before an exam or a flight test may be taken, a candidate must first complete an approved course of training. On completion of this, the candidate may then satisfy the JAR standards by completing a competency test before licence issue. I paid £34,000 ($22,000) for my complete JAR training (excluding type rating) through a modular route, yet many major airlines now state a preference for integrated training, while some prefer typed rated and others not.

This is different training, yet the same standard at a far greater financial outlay (£100,000 with a type rating), followed by six months' unpaid work. Airlines should not have to enter into costly bonds with training bodies to find pilots, when there are hundreds of aspiring licence holders eager to work for them, representing less risk than a supermarket paying for the training of a new cashier. Paying for training is acceptable, but I can think of no other profession where this will cost as much and where you are then expected to work free for six months. Is the standard really the issue?

Marshal Clarke Halstead, Essex, UK

Source: Flight International