U.S. should maintain policy requiring pilots to retire at 60

After reading Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) op-ed, “U.S. should drop requirement of pilots to retire at 60, but FAA change flawed” (May 10), I felt that a response was in order.

As usual our elected officials only represent special interests. The real question is, who is pushing this change? Has the senator asked the public what they think about changing the retirement age for pilots who fly their sons, daughters, parents and themselves? No, he has not.

He states that astronauts and generals are having to retire from flying. We all get old, senator, even our greatest heroes.
Even senators age, and should retire when their time comes. As for making this change because the companies in Europe have changed the age, why copy anything the French have done? The international rule also puts greater restrictions on physicals for those pilots over age 60. The senator’s bill makes no such stipulation.

The senator and his co-sponsors also plan to bypass the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) process by not allowing groups who have knowledge of airline operations to make comments. None of the co-sponsors of this bill have the experience or expertise as Federal Aviation Regulations Part 121 airline pilots. Additionally, the politicians cover up the fact that this is a safety issue. As we age we lose our mental and physical sharpness. The senator’s own bill proves flying at an older age is a safety concern because it requires one pilot at the controls to be under age 60 if the other pilot is over age 60. Someone must be concerned about heart failure on the older pilot.

The public should be informed of their coming reduction in safety. Thank you for your time and consideration on this subject.

~ From Bill Yancey, Lakeland, Tenn.


Editor’s note: The writer of this letter says he was a Navy and civilian pilot for 26 years. Inhofe, as noted in his op-ed, is a former commercial pilot.

 


America’s many varieties of doom

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) may be right or wrong in his insistence that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) is destined to be the savior of the nation, but he is absolutely right in saying that the nation is in crisis (article, “Spitzer endorses Clinton, says nation in ‘crisis,’” May 14). If only he could drum into the heads of the nation’s legislators the need to take swift, effective action to halt America’s head-first plunge into the pits of economic, military, medical and intellectual doom.

~From Wes Pedersen, Chevy Chase, Md.