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Told I was too short to fly?

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Told I was too short to fly?

Old 7th Oct 2020, 11:06
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Wales, UK
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Told I was too short to fly?

Hi everyone.
I bit the bullet yesterday and sat my EASA Class 1 medical. I've had to have a CAA referral due to complex medical history.
However when I was being measured, the nurse commented that I must not have known that the minimum height to become a pilot is 5'2, and I am 5'1. It was mentioned that I would be unable to fly for an airline as they measure you in the application process and even being an inch or two too short was grounds for being chopped from airline selection and I should carefully consider whether or not to continue with training with it being a disqualifier.

This does seem to be the case- TUI, BA, Ryanair and Easy all have "applicants must be a minimum of 5'2" on their entry requirements. I was told that anyone below this would not be able to reach all panels when strapped in or get full control authority.
To be honest I was not expecting this to be an issue. In this modern day an age with so many young women training to be pilots I would assume that they would have accepted anyone of any height or allowed pilots who are vertically challenged to use an approved aid (you can buy these online) to allow them to fly.

Not really sure what to do from here, I am surprised that airlines especially like Easy don't have any smaller lady pilots (although I am a guy!).

Seems like having a class 1 is rather pointless if I can't apply for any jobs!
rob_ste97 is offline  
Old 7th Oct 2020, 11:30
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Don't let that put you off. If you can qualify for a Class 1, then go for it. If the airlines are really that picky, remember there's always something else other than flying for "the airline". All depends how much do you actually want to fly.
allert is offline  
Old 7th Oct 2020, 11:38
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Join Date: Dec 2019
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Thank you. Issue is the OML restriction as well which would stop me flying single pilot (eg instructing).
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Old 7th Oct 2020, 11:57
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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You can instruct PPL level with a class 2 medical. The OML restriction only applies to stuff that requires a class 1 not a class 2.
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Old 7th Oct 2020, 15:15
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Join Date: May 2011
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The nurse should not make comments like that, it has nothing to do with him/her.

I have worked with an airline pilot who, I would estimate, is around 4'9" tall.
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Old 7th Oct 2020, 18:30
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de minimus non curat lex
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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What ever you do, don’t give up the day job.

Modular route taking your time, as jobs will be non existent for a few years.
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Old 7th Oct 2020, 21:24
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
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Iím sorry to have to rain on your parade.
Its not a matter of want itís a matter of ergonomics.
Even light general aviation aircraft are designed around averages.
My tallest student Iíve had was over 7í and he could only fly one model aircraft we had on the flight line.
My shortest student could also only fly one airplane type, this happened to be a Cessna 150 because the seating position is different from a Cesana 152.
Fast forward to a career in aviation.
Military has height and proportion requirements for both helicopters and fixed wing, fighters and transport. I may be off an inch on the numbers but for the F-16 itís 6í3 because otherwise the ejection seat will probably kill you.
For the sale of simplicity Iím taking a couple of short cuts here but you get the idea.
In transport category aircraft aka airliners the cockpit is designed around an average.
You adjust your seat to the manufacturer recommended eye reference height and from there you simply need to be able to reach all that is required. This may not be the same in aircraft from various different manufacturers but for a career in aviation you cannot simply aim for an airline that has that only model aircraft. What if they decide to change their fleet or add a different model?
No offense but your problem is not theirs.






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Old 7th Oct 2020, 21:31
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Join Date: May 2004
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Dunno, we had a Captain (737-300/500) who was 5 foot probably to the inch, very proud of the fact as well, my memories of him are his ability to hold alcohol (huge) and his extraordinary knowledge of nightclubs, which has come in useful as he now manages one.
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Old 7th Oct 2020, 22:01
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Join Date: May 2005
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Get yourself assessed for the aircraft you want to fly. You need to be able to reach the side stick and throttle at the same time on an Airbus. The reach required is further than for a 737 for example.
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 05:42
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They don’t measure you when you apply, just put that you are 5’2” and no one is ever going to know (or care, more importantly)
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 07:54
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That's great advice for a newbie, tell him to start lying from the beginning. Really?
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 08:05
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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When we were training cadet entries on BA Tristars, one of the females was at, or about, the 5'.0" mark and coped OK. I say 'coped', because the engine fire drill required her to use the overhead grab handle to assist.I have no idea if she was eventually successful 'on-line'.
The Tristar was definitely unusual for dimensions and we also had a FE come through, from a customer company, who was ideally sized (close to 7'0") and could operate without moving the seat!!!
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 09:00
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Tell them you identify as 6'2". You can get away with anything these days, the line between fantasy and reality doesn't really exist any more.
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 09:35
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Join Date: Mar 2017
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Originally Posted by VariablePitchP View Post
They don’t measure you when you apply, just put that you are 5’2” and no one is ever going to know (or care, more importantly)
They don't measure you because the vast majority of applicants are all of similar heights around the average. If you are noticeably short then the rules may be read out to you and they may well ask to verify your official height from your CAA medical. It should also be noted that a few airlines have their own in house medical examiner who you go through as part of the induction process, they will measure your height.

Forgive this stupid question but its been about 3 yrs since I did my medical, do they ask you to take your shoes off for the measurement? If not could you not find 1 inch between a thick pair of shoes and just stick a thick sole into them?
A320LGW is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2020, 13:41
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Actually, this is quite useful, so thank you. Sometimes it isn't about what someone would *like* do as much as what they can do. I knew from a young age I would struggle with my height, but I guess I had always hoped that it would be something I could work around. I'm sad to know that I wouldn't be able to even obtain a PPL, I had hoped that I'd at least be able to get a private licence if I was disqualified from airline flying. Fingers crossed that by the time I'm retired they have made an aircraft that a smaller person can fly.
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 13:43
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I had to take off my shoes for my medical. That was where they measured me and told me that the height the doctor had said I was was actually incorrect (I'd been told I was about 5'2 1/2).
The general consensus seems to be that I am going to be unable to get through airline selection due to height. Hopefully I'll be able to just fly for fun as some people have also told me that I will struggle with GA aircraft.
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 13:45
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Originally Posted by parkfell View Post
What ever you do, donít give up the day job.

Modular route taking your time, as jobs will be non existent for a few years.
Yeah, when I tell people I want to be a pilot (At 5'2 and with an OML on my medical) they tell me the same thing... not to give up the day job!
I guess I'll stick to planespotting...
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 14:14
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Join Date: Jan 2018
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Where did you take this medical? Let it lapse, forget about it and go somewhere else.

I am the same height, I hold a Class 1 with no restrictions and I fly a 737.
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 21:55
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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The one aircraft I hated to fly during training was the Cessna 172, because my legs were too short on a max XWind landing to push full rudder and full brakes.
One of my instructors said ' don't worry, by the time you fly a 747 you can adjust your rudder pedals'. It's the truth, works out like a charm, after 22 years on the
747 I can tell you it is not a problem and one of my 160 cm female friends flies circles around 185cm super males all of the time! Short bodies become a convienence
in long haul in cramped flight decks because YOU can always stretch!!!
Hang on and don't let yourself be told Blabla, as long as you qualify medically, all is possible!
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 22:09
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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If you want it enough, you'll find a work around, plenty do.
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