View Full Version : Minimum height for airline pilot


bengaltiger
24th Jul 2007, 00:33
Hello

My height is 5ft 4in and i am 19 years old. I doubt i will grow any taller. So my question is, what is the minimum height required to become an airline pilot?

Thanks!



BelArgUSA
24th Jul 2007, 01:10
No requirements exist for height... for licencing...
Companies might have minimums and maximums...
Examples -
xxx
You must be able to reach all controls as required in the flight deck.
Your legs length must be sufficient to obtain a full rudder deflection... etc.
xxx
Flight attendants, as an example, must be able to reach cabin overhead storages to reach emergency equipment, yet some regional airlines, with small cabins, might even prefer F/As who are of smaller height. A 5'2" lady is perfect for a CRJ cabin.
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Personally, I am very average 173cm tall (5'7") and a mere 135 lbs/59 kg which is ideal. I fly regular airline types (747), and I occasionally moonlight as Learjet 20/30 pilot. Even just average height, I have a hard time to fit in the cockpit of a small Learjet. I am nearly at the limit to be comfortable. Shorter pilots are fit for Learjets. A 6 foot/250 lbs pilot could NOT fit in a Learjet.
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I also recall a cargo airline with DC-8s... and having their first "little females" as co-pilot. The issue for these little ladies was not their height, really, but also their muscles, to operate an airplane with unboosted controls.
xxx
Your 5'4" height is somewhat short, but NO problem. When you apply with an airline, suggest you inquire if they have a minimum/maximum height. If they require a certain minimum or maximum, it is because of the type of aircraft they operate.
xxx
:)
Happy contrails

AlphaMale
24th Jul 2007, 09:29
Pretty sure the RAF used to have a restriction on Fast Jets as they told me at Northolt I'd fail the medical due to the fact I am slightly over 6'2" and the Tornados are built for the average size male which is 5'11" with a tolerance of +/- 3 inches. So between 5'8" and 6'2" is fine.

Apparently I could have flown the bigger planes though - Hercs etc.

I did hear that airlines have a wider tolerance and have seen taller pilots at airports than myself.

Not sure about being too short though? but as above, it would prove an advantage on a tight flight deck.

Had a quick look for the average height for the UK and is states 177cm for men and 163.2cm for women

bengaltiger
24th Jul 2007, 09:35
Ok, thanks for your help. Everyone tells me that theres no problem, and you probably will be able to become a pilot at your height. But i dont recall seeing a short pilot, well not at my height at least!

So what are the chances of becoming a pilot. Will there always be a disadvantage to getting a job due to my height? I would like to fly boeings, 737, 777, 747 etc.....

Truthfully, are there short male pilots out there flying these type of planes?

Thanks for all your help!!

FlyerPhilec
24th Jul 2007, 12:19
I passed the RAF medical a few years ago and I am almost 6'4".

They did comment that I might lose my kneecaps on ejection but they still put me through.

B2N2
24th Jul 2007, 12:26
It's not only the airlines, training aircraft are going to be a pain.
My wife is 5'2" and couldn't fly a 172, not even with booster cushions.
She can either reach the pedals and not look outside or the other way round.
But if you can make it through training, I've seen loads of shorter people fly for the airlines.
Just spend a day at an average airport.:ok:

bengaltiger
24th Jul 2007, 21:31
Thanks for all your replies. From what im reading, its seems as if its unlikely that i would be able to become a pilot.

But from the ba jobs website, they state that the minimum height is 5' 2''
So there still maybe a possibility of becoming a pilot.

I wonder if theres any short pilots on this forum that might be able to give a bit of advice..........

Han 1st Solo
24th Jul 2007, 23:46
Well i'm 5' 5" and fly the embraer 145, don't need a cushion although do have the seat fully forward and the pedals all the way back but cope ok, I imagine most types will be quite similar in the control and seat adjustments. Can't see 5' 4" being a problem, if you were under 5' then maybe, my advice is just go for it. :ok:

Han.

G SXTY
26th Jul 2007, 09:31
From what im reading, its seems as if its unlikely that i would be able to become a pilot.


Rubbish!

I'm 5'3" and fit quite happily in a C152/172. My PPL instructor was the same height as me (she still is, come to think of it) and she now flies Dash 8s. I know a Twin Otter captain who's even shorter than me.

Your height is no problem at all.

PingDit
26th Jul 2007, 09:38
Used to fly with a Nimrod QFI of 5'3" complete with booster-cushion - no problem!

PingDit
;)

armando7
24th Apr 2009, 04:21
hello, i am a private pilot student in lima, peru, my height is of 158 cm, i dont know if that would be a very complicated problem to enter to an airline, anyone who can help me ?

DickyPearse
24th Apr 2009, 06:18
I passed the RAF medical a few years ago and I am almost 6'4".

They did comment that I might lose my kneecaps on ejection but they still put me through.


It's not just a straight matter of height but rather leg length and sitting height. That is, if you are tall, as long as you are slightly longer in the body rather than the legs, you should pass the RAF medical (on hieght grounds) and your knee caps should remain intact in the event of an ejection.

G SXTY
24th Apr 2009, 07:47
my height is of 158 cm, i dont know if that would be a very complicated problem to enter to an airline

I'm around 159cm if I wear my thick socks, and I fly the Q400 - no problem at all. In fact it's an advantage being short as you're less likely to scalp yourself getting in and out of the seat. You'll find that most if not all modern airliners are designed for pilots of all shapes and sizes, and seats and pedals are fully adjustable to suit.

I was never even asked my height during recruitment or training - if you can fit in the aircraft and fly it, that's good enough for most people.

airborne_artist
24th Apr 2009, 07:48
Pretty sure the RAF used to have a restriction on Fast Jets as they told me at Northolt I'd fail the medical due to the fact I am slightly over 6'2"

You would have had to have had some very unusual proportions to fail at 6'2". The tallest person to fly a Harrier is 6'6", and 6'4" is not uncommon. The exact measurements are:

Pilot:
Weight: 56.8 - 94.0 Kg
Functional reach (shoulders to thumb-tip):
740 - 900 mm
Sitting height: 865 - 1010 mm
Buttock knee: 560 - 660 mm
Buttock - heel: 1000 - 1200mm

nuclear weapon
24th Apr 2009, 17:33
5,4 shouldn't be a problem. I work with a couple of pilots in that height range.

poy
14th Jul 2014, 16:29
I'm 5'4". No problem at all.:D