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Told I was too short to fly?

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Told I was too short to fly?

Old 12th Oct 2020, 11:19
  #41 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 35
my medical was at 9am, literally the earliest one possible. My official height- 156cm. Below the minimum for most major airlines and below the entry height for CAE and L3. Devastated doesn’t even cut it.
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Old 13th Oct 2020, 07:54
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: australia
Age: 77
Posts: 193
"Tom Cruise who portrayed Maverick (a.k.a. the most iconic fighter pilot ever) in Top Gun, would actually have been too short to be accepted as a navy pilot IRL."

The Air Force has relaxed the minimum height requirement for officer aviators. Previously, pilot candidates must have been between 5 feet 4 inches and 6 feet five inches tall while standing, with a sitting height between 34 and 40 inches. This requirement ended on May 13.

While prospective pilots could apply for waivers to the old rule – which were frequently granted – Air Force leadership determined that it hindered accession of women and smaller minorities. The restriction ruled out as many as 40 percent of all female applicants for pilot training between ages 20 and 29."


n civil aviation there is not a minimum height requirement to become a pilot; however, some small aircraft cannot accommodate an extremely tall individual. To be sure of a specific airline’s requirements, we encourage you to contact them directly."
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Old 15th Oct 2020, 21:14
  #43 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 35
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply again. I have contacted some flight schools and airlines who have said that their 5'2 is a minimum height required to ensure full control of the aircraft at all times. They said it's extremely rare that anyone ever applies who is shorter than that, especially men. At my height I am below the manufacturer's minimum for both Boeing and Airbus which is what airlines look at when you apply. It's very very disappointing but as people on this thread have pointed out, dreams are just that; dreams. I love flying, and would love to get a PPL and perhaps work in an airport- hopefully a ground-based job comes up someday that I can apply for.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 18:41
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,531
Here’s an all too common misunderstanding that “Airline flying” is the one and only flying out there while in reality it’s only a small percentage.
It has the highest public exposure though.
There are still aircraft you could fly.
My recommendation?
Get your Private and consider your Instrument rating and maybe Instructor ratings.
By this time you’ll be more familiar with the industry and what your options are.
You may not be able to make it your only source of income but there is plenty out there.
Some business jets have notoriously small cockpits for taller individuals.
Lear jets for instance. Citations too.

Learjet 45XR Pilots

Last edited by B2N2; 21st Oct 2020 at 19:07.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 10:58
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: somewhere hot and sticky
Age: 40
Posts: 283
during my initial class 1 medical the nurse told me i would never fly an aeroplane as i have an uneven heartbeat. this had me quite upset! the doctor then listened and said it was completely normal. i have continuously held a class 1 medical for over 20 years since (in 8 jurisdictions no less!)

as far as i am aware, height is not a requirement for a class 1 medical, and the nurse has no business at all telling you such tripe.

many companies have height requirements (i couldn't apply for several airlines as cabin crew as I was above their height requirement at 6'4"). however some have a "functional reach test" which is an actual test of how you work in a certain cockpit.

don't let your height stop you. But be aware of the requirements listed by companies you want to work for, and how they deal with applicants slightly outside those limits. calling the recruitment departments and asking would be a good start, though they might be hard to reach at the present time.

also great advice above, airline flying is not the only option, I've had amazing times in GA that i would never change. i bet you could reach everything in a c206 cockpit 😉
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Old 23rd Oct 2020, 19:18
  #46 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 35
Hi everyone. Thanks for all the replies. I had a sit in the cockpit of a B737NG sim. While it was determined that I could manipulate the controls properly as well as have the correct eyeline, there was uncertainty (in my opinion) about whether or not I would be able to reach the hydraulic panel while seated and with lap belt fastened. Therefore I’d need to pay to have a more comprehensive assessment and actually talk to a type rating examiner about whether I could pass the “emergencies” section of the type rating, as I believe that you must be able to reach even the rear captain’s side of the panel from the FO seat and this would be very difficult for me with my limb proportions. This was coming from current B737 pilots who are quite tall and struggle to reach said panels.

I’m glad that I was given the chance to see how I fit in the cockpit once and for all. I can only imagine how amazing it must be for those of you who get to do that every day.
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Old 26th Oct 2020, 09:37
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 1,472
Good luck.

Mrs Uplinker, (cabin crew), needed to pass a reach test to safely operate the aircraft main door.

As I say, have a careful look at your diet and vitamin & mineral intake. And exercise. If you are in your 20's, you might not have stopped growing yet. My son's friend was a tiny lad until he started going to a school where meals were provided. He grew significantly !
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Old 26th Oct 2020, 10:59
  #48 (permalink)  

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Join Date: Feb 1997
Location: Duit On Mon Dei
Posts: 4,310
In our company, we have an issue whereby there are many pilots too tall for one of the fleets. This has affected some of the FOs for upgrades/promotions.
Your height would be perfect. It's our super tall Dutch colleagues that struggle.
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Old 26th Oct 2020, 14:10
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Amantido
Posts: 490
redsnail What fleet would that be? Learjet?
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Old 27th Oct 2020, 20:06
  #50 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 35
I was lucky enough to sit in the 737NG sim again and the A320 again. While it was determined I could fly the aeroplane, I was unable to reach the very corner of the overhead panel at the rear (eg hydraulics on the 737) without loosening my lap straps and shoulder straps.
Apparently during the type rating this is something that the FO has to do, and you must stay lap strapped in fully while you flick these switches.
I couldn’t do this, and as a result, it was determined that I will be unable to fly A320 or 737.
I’m very very disappointed. Something as simple as my arm stretch has let me down.
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Old 28th Oct 2020, 18:55
  #51 (permalink)  

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Join Date: Feb 1997
Location: Duit On Mon Dei
Posts: 4,310
We don't have Lears in the fleet. Embraer Phenom 300.
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