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Too short?

Old 26th Mar 2011, 08:06
  #21 (permalink)  
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well that's the question, but I was hoping someone here might have had such an experience.

Can anyone recall this scenario?
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Old 27th Mar 2011, 21:57
  #22 (permalink)  
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.... tumble weed.
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 14:59
  #23 (permalink)  
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The saga continues...

Having been promised a 'fit' test in an Airbus sim from a well known uk school, I found myself being given the runaround for the last month, only to be told that the chief instructor had a doubt that a sim test would be conclusive.

He basically questioned the seating in the sim, whether it was identical to the actual aircraft, whether it was affected by the presence (or lack of) of bulk heads etc.

Anyhow, I have pursued this with another of the big uk schools who were happy to seat me in both their Airbus and Boeing sims.

Their instructors took the time to go through correct position, eye line, rudder pedals and breaks, as well as maximum arm reach to overhead panels etc.

I'm very glad to say that they concluded that I 'fit' and would be adequate to train. They said that the issue of 'full' back was perfectly adequate and not restricted.

I also spoke to the in-house engineer who assured me that their full flight sims are absoultely identical to actual airliners and suitable for making this judgment.

However, a friend of mine who works in HR (not aviation) has asked the difficult question, which is:
"will being short reduce employment opportunites?"

That is, do airlines discriminate, perhaps because they want some stereotypical pilot?

Do you have any thoughts?

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Old 13th Apr 2011, 15:28
  #24 (permalink)  
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AFAIK some airlines do have certain height requirements for new recruited pilots. For example, in my country Finnair states that an absolutely minimum height of 163cm will be accepted. They operate Airbuses, Embraers and B752s currently.

That being said, you might (and probably will) face some difficulties with certain airlines regarding your height. The Gurus here may enlighten us more .
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 08:22
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
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Hi there,
I am short too, I'm 158cm 5'2, I'm only in school but i am starting training after i graduate. I joined PPRuNe for a similar reason, to ask people if I would be able to fly with my height. I suppose as I am 16 I will still grow, so if tour okay I should be too. I've asked a few questions so could you check your PM (private messages)

Thanks Shorty!!
You havn't been on since August I just realised.
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 08:38
  #26 (permalink)  
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Hi Lufc,

I'm your height, too, and I will start flight training within a year. Don't worry for our height, it's not a problem at all. We will just use a pillow or cushion to be fine. Mind you, there are a lot of aircrafts to work on that being short is an advantage, like the B757. Indeed, we'll just need it on aircrafts like Cessna or Piper, but we will never ever need anything like cushion or pillow on jets and regional aircraft thanks to the adjustable seats and pedals.

Our height is very common for girls, and there are a lot of female pilots out there.
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 09:34
  #27 (permalink)  
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there are a lot of aircrafts to work on that being short is an advantage, like the B757.
I am intrigued! Why do you believe this to be the case?
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 13:17
  #28 (permalink)  
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I've heard several times of pilots short, very short that feel comfortable in the B757's cockpit. On another forum a tall pilot (I have not met him, he said he is 1,95) and feel uncomfortable on the B757.
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 13:41
  #29 (permalink)  
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Look on the bright side... you can run around the airport going "Da plane! Da plane!"
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 16:04
  #30 (permalink)  
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I've heard pilots say there should be min and max height requirements but HR departments don't seem to think it's an issue. With large commercial jet aircraft, there's sufficient seat adjustments and so it's not a real problem. It could be different for GA though as many US manufactured lighter airplanes require short legs and long bodies (chimps !).
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Old 6th Sep 2011, 22:44
  #31 (permalink)  
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I've had a few people send me a private message or two, so it seems I'm not the only shorter person looking for a career as a pilot.

I am happy to reply to private messages.

I have satisfied myself that my height although right at the limit is adequate. I have been deemed to fit both A320 and B737 full flight sims.

One of the main concerns I have is with the Cessna 172 - often used in training in FTOs all over.

I have been assured that 5' 1" with cushion is fine.

I start training in December.
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Old 7th Sep 2011, 15:57
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
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Not to rain on anybodies parade here; a First Class Medical determines that you are medically fit to fly and airplane, not that you can reach all controls.

XL has similar problems to S. Airplanes and especially training airplane are built to standard sizes. A C172 with a cushion can be pretty uncomfortable.
A C172 is more suited if you are too tall then on the shorter side.
You may need to shop around a little more for suitable airplane types.
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Old 7th Sep 2011, 16:41
  #33 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the tip but there is no height requirement for a medical.

I have also contacted the CAA and BALPA with regards to safety concerns.

I'm glad to say I passed my medical back in March.

I would advise anyone in a similar situation to contact flight schools and judge for yourself what they have to offer. Of course they should think safety first, but they should also be willing and helpful. Good customer service and support is essential in my opinion.
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Old 7th Sep 2011, 17:50
  #34 (permalink)  
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Location: FL, USA
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There's something that has been buggging me about this thread.
I can't get rid of the feeling that there is a certain amount of "because I want to I should be able to" going on.
A certain sense of entitlement, like it's a right to become an airline pilot regardless.

In general, not aimed at anybody in particular, newsflash for you.
You don't have a right to anything. If you do not have the physical characteristics that a particular job (or hobby for that matter) requires it's time to look for something else.
Tremendous cliche but still true: not everyvody is fit to be an astronaut or pro basketball player.
Even if you pass all medical, written and psych tests you may still be unsuitable for that particular job. Aviation is no different.

It used to be that airforce fighter pilots had to meet very strict height requirements. Height but also leg length. This had to do with the ejection seat, you're off little use if you legs stay behind when you eject.
If you didn't meet those requirements you'd be flying freighters, no if or but's about it.

So I'll work for an airline that only flies this make and model. Alright, what if they change in 6 months or a year? What if the airline merges with another airline and phases out the only model you can fly?

About the best advise i can give you is to NOT rely on a anonymous forum.
I wish you all the luck but I'm sceptical.

Here is some interesting reading on the subject of DERP (Design Eye Reference Point) or the correct eye height for flight crew.
In this accident report it is determined that an incorrect eye-point was a causal factor in the accident.

Just above the compass in this Citation cockpit you will see two orange dots, these are the eye reference height.

In this picture the guy on the right might actually be sitting a little too high by the looks of it:

In this very nice picture of an Airbus 321 you see the same little markings just above the compass.

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Old 8th Sep 2011, 07:27
  #35 (permalink)  
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Thanks B2N2,

I must admit, reading your post cheered me up.

You are absouletly right, no rights no guarantees.

In my case, and I can only speak for myself, the decision to pursue a life-time's ambition weighed up against both risk and safety concerns, has been huge. I wouldn't suggest that anybody does this on a whim.

Just for reference, things I have had to consider:
- taking a pay cut.
- selling my home / self funding 100k.
- moving away from my community. Being away from partner and family.
- returning to study / loss of status from being a high flyer in previous employment.
- safety concerns. No point hurting myself or anyone else.

I have also had to revise my maths and physics as well keep track of the industry, before even being considered for selection, taking the tests and being interviewed.

Satisfying all of the above would have been pointless if a type rating instructor was to say "your eye line was wrong" etc. I line up fine for both A320 and B737 eye line reference points.

I have taken the time to visit training centres and allow instructors to advise me - and I'm talking about full flight type rating sims. So I'm not making my own decisions I'm allowing the pros to make them.

I don't think anyone has a right to become a pilot or anything else - it's a good point, well made. I think the best we can do is try our hardest, research and research and let the experts advise. I think passing selection, finding the funding and being prepared for the impact on lifestyle etc is very important. I don't think anyone is qualified to tell people whether they deserve it or not. A great deal of luck and hardwork is required, but I know that isn't enough.

Chin up, I think we're all grown-ups and get to make our own decisions good or bad. No point getting upset or angry at what other people choose to do.

I wish everyone well.
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 16:40
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 50

I'm short too, maybe an inch taller than you are. I've flown several types of light aircraft and passenger turboprops without too much difficulty. The only one which was a really BAD fit was the C172, far too spacious, legs too short, arms too short, couldn't see over the instrument panel, you name it!

Don't agonise too much. You've heard from enough fellow shorties here to know that you'll be fine in the height department and if you continue to make an issue of it, you might just give someone the opportunity to agree with you at a critical stage in your training/career.
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 17:07
  #37 (permalink)  
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Agreed - I'm satisfied and my FTO are satisfied. Safety concerns have been addressed, so time to get on with it!

Thanks to all for your comments, it's been an eventful journey so far.

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