I would like to correct some remarks made in a letter published in The Times April 13 in response to my views on pilot training ("Former Test Pilot Takes On the FAA Over Air Safety").
James L. Hayhurst, a first officer for PSA, says I display "considerable ignorance about the real issues affecting our air transportation system." I do have some knowledge about our air transportation system and the training of airline pilots--especially those of PSA. I was in charge of Lockheed flight operations during the time PSA received its first Lockheed Model 188 Electras, and I personally assigned my best flight crew instructors (former airline pilots) to PSA's training program. The late Kenny Friedkin, founder of PSA, and Bill Shimp, then chief pilot, commended us for establishing a "benchmark of excellence."
My comments did not refer to all new airline pilots. I did say that most civilian trained pilots, by FAA standards, are inadequately trained and, further, most flight instructors are unfit to teach any kind of flying.
Hayhurst refers to my "irresponsible claim" that the crew of the Delta L-1011 that crashed at Dallas last year "slaughtered 200 innocent people." Of course, I don't believe anyone in his or her right mind would want to kill anyone, least of all himself.