I STARTED READING the letter from “Anonymous” headlined “Fit to fly” (28 August) with great interest. That is until my eyes glanced over his last paragraph and I did a double take. A person should only speak with authority on any matter when he’s actually done his homework.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case – as Anonymous clearly proved. (I think staying anonymous served more than one purpose.) He put it so eloquently that pilots “just get in and fly!” And this from someone clearly educated and informed, as you’d expect of readers of Finweek.
A commercial pilot can only perform his profession when he conforms to local and international regulations, as stipulated by the aviation authority of the country where he’s based, as well as the country where the aircraft is registered. (And the FAA has its own regulations for aircraft entering its airspace.) That entails pilots should be of fit mind and body (pilots are required to undergo a medical exam once a year; twice a year if they’re older than 40) as well as being able to perform to the highest standard of mechanical, technical and physical expertise of the particular aircraft that they have a licence to operate. That licence is kept up to date by constant examinations.
The worst that could happen to a technician when he doesn’t comply with the task at hand is an enquiry and a possible suspension or loss of his qualification. Commercial pilots are ultimately responsible not just for their own lives but also for the lives of their passengers.