Public interest and safety of air travelers would be served if CAA were to investigate and reveal all factors that lead to faulty landing, resulting in rupture of left column of Main Landing Gear of B737, which touched down more than halfway of Runway 36 Left at Lahore. It was fate which miraculously intervened preventing fire and fatalities, not pilot nor CAA skills. Commercial Aviation is a specialized field and is as different from military aviation as defference between Oncologist and Dentist.

Aviation is an unforgiving business, where there are no second chances, nor any scope for relaxation in requirements. Pilots are paid better salaries and often get tax relief benefits which others in this industry are not entitled to, because their earning tenure is not considered to be assured till age of retirement, limited by stringent medical, physical and mental fitness requirements. Nowhere in developed world where aviation safety is priority are pilots allowed to fly beyond national age of retirement, which is directly linked to that nation’s average age of mortality, quality of medical facilities availability, law and order and provision of unadulterated food etc. If commercial airline pilots in USA are allowed to fly till 62, it is because their national age of retirement is 67.

When CAA does not revoke Airline Transport Pilots License for those with a criminal record, including those who have submitted fake degrees, or were involved in cases of sexual harassment, such as one in which PIA female pilot (Capt Rafat Hayee) had accused her Instructor Check Pilots, or for those pilots found guilty of alcohol or drug consumption etc, than how can it expect to safeguard flight safety of revenue paying travelling public. If in opinion of CAA, pilots can be utilized beyond national age of superannuation/retirement, although physical, medical and reflex action requirements for commercial airline pilots are higher than for those involved in doing regular jobs where mental faculties, qualifications and experience alone are required, than problem lies with regulator, not licensee. Was it not criminal of PIA, CAA and GOP to allow Capt Aijaz, just an O’Level, found guilty of gross irregularities in pilot recruitment by AVM Mushaf to be appointed as MD in 2008?

Aneela Chandio,

Sukkur, November 20.