Sir - Your operations/safety editor David Learmount wrote a good article on helicopter safety (Flight International, 20-26 September, P36). The vital factor, as it always is when talking about safety, is margins.

I make my living flying helicopters over the hostile North Sea, and the word "margin" has come to rule my life.

Commercial pressure and aviation authorities, however, are trying to eat up the margins that operators have been building up through hard-won experience over the past few years. Allowing operators to work with this kind of procedure robs pilots of margins.

Capt. Helge Nilsen

Stavanger Lufthavn, Norway

Source: Flight International