The Channel 4 documentary, Flying Under Influence, shown on October 12, was an attempt at alarmist TV which may have succeeded with the general public, but failed miserably with anybody who knows anything about flying airliners.

There is a world of difference between drinking socially with friends as opposed to being plied with an unfamiliar concoction in a hotel room.

In addition, the test pilot crew and engineer were immature and so inexperienced I doubt they could obtain employment with a major British airline. They were American and had obviously been briefed to ham it up in the flight simulator. It is quite likely they had not been told the true nature of their involvement. Why were British equivalents not used?

It is clear Channel 4 has scant regard for safety. The female Judas was seen three times using a mobile telephone in the aircraft at a time when the flight deck crew would be carrying out pre-flight checks. Erroneous results of some tests could have been obtained.

Meanwhile, the scratch crew of experts was about as good as the American test pilots. Watching TV screens and sitting behind in an obviously rigged flight simulator session would fool real experts.

Bearing in mind the test crew and the experts, it must have been a very low budget programme.

As most of the programme was suspect, how can we believe their timing to be accurate?

I do not condone excessive alcohol intake or disregarding of rules. However, the public should see this programme as an attempt at sensationalist TV and realise that to achieve the effect the makers of the show required, acting techniques have been utilised.

-D. Davies, Captain, retired, Address supplied