I could not disagree more with your correspondent Timothy Oates, who believes the mandatory retirement age should be scrapped (Flight International, 3-9 February). However stringent medical checks could be, mental and physical reflexes slow as a result of the ageing process and the ability to react to emergency circumstances quickly is a vital quality in a pilot.
I would not like to fly with a commercial pilot aged over 60. That is not ageism: it is a reasonable concern for air safety. Furthermore, an accumulation of ageing pilots at the senior end will block the recruitment of young people who are keen to get into aviation.
The answer is to provide adequate company pensions. Financial insecurity alone is not an acceptable or safe reason to continue to fly.
Steven Stott Thornton Heath, Surrey, UK
Source: Flight International