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Swimming ability

Old 4th Mar 2017, 18:10
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Swimming ability

Hi,

Is there a legal requirement from the CAA or others to be able to swim to become a pilot?
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 19:47
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You will have to be able to swim the length of a swimming pool and tread water whilst putting on a life jacket to pass the wet drills when you join an airline.

If you can not swim then visit your local leisure centre and start lessons.

Last edited by Council Van; 4th Mar 2017 at 20:00.
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 07:47
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Thanks for the reply but where does it say that this is a legal requirement? I can't find it anywhere on the CAA website. If it's not a legal requirement then the airlines cannot force anyone to do it
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 07:51
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Originally Posted by Council Van View Post
You will have to be able to swim the length of a swimming pool and tread water whilst putting on a life jacket to pass the wet drills when you join an airline.

If you can not swim then visit your local leisure centre and start lessons.
Ummm, didn't see that as part of the recruitment procedure?
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 07:58
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Originally Posted by MightyDucks View Post
Thanks for the reply but where does it say that this is a legal requirement? I can't find it anywhere on the CAA website. If it's not a legal requirement then the airlines cannot force anyone to do it
It's illegal to discriminate based on age, sex etc... But I think swimming ability is allowed.
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 08:07
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ZFT
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Originally Posted by MightyDucks View Post
Thanks for the reply but where does it say that this is a legal requirement? I can't find it anywhere on the CAA website. If it's not a legal requirement then the airlines cannot force anyone to do it
Best of luck with interviews if we truly believe that you only need need to meet legal requirements!
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 08:31
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This has nothing got to do with interviews.
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 08:51
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de minimus non curat lex
 
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MD

For licence issue there is no requirement to swim.
Same applies to be a FI at a flying club.

If however you have ambition to be a FO as part of a multi crew senario, then swimming must you learn.
And where a dingy is carried on board your ac, the ability unaided to climb into the dingy is mandatory.

Them are the regulations..........get it.....

Last edited by parkfell; 5th Mar 2017 at 10:37. Reason: Syntax
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 19:39
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You can learn to swim in a few days with an instructor or friend who is a good swimmer. You only need to learn how to tread water and swim from point A to point B. That's it.
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 19:50
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There is no "Legal requirement" although I am not sure what you mean by this?

An airline expects you to be an asset in an emergency not a liability. In other words it shouldn't in those circumstances fall to your colleagues or other passengers to rescue you because you have failed to learn a basic life skill.

In reality, it is one of the least difficult obstacles to overcome and there is a very good chance that learning to swim will not only enhance your enjoyment of life, but might actually save somebody else's one day.

In my opinion it is shameful that (in the U.K) so many schools fail to teach swimming as part of the curriculum these days, but that shouldn't stop anybody from learning to swim.

An airline doesn't have to employ you because something isn't a "legal requirement" but most will expect that you can swim at least a specific distance unaided. Rather than wasting time arguing the point here, I would suggest (as others have) that you sign up for lessons. Compared to the cost of most other aspects of this career it will be (ahem) a drop in the ocean!
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 20:12
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The legal requirement is in a company's approved initial and recurrent SEP training manual. So yes, you may well be qualified to fly an aircraft but you won't be able to fly for an airline unless you can swim. You did know about this before you started training, didn't you?
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 07:34
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When a chum of mine left the RAF and joined Virgin Atlantic, he told me that 'wet drills' were much more fun.

Instead of some gel-haired, whistle blowing gym queen PTI shouting and yelling, Virgin had lots of rather nice stewardesses in bikinis helping 'survivors' into dinghies / inflated escape slides. Took him several attempts to pass the session, he told me....
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 07:52
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If it's not a legal requirement then the airlines cannot force anyone to do it
Well we operate under UK rules and FWIW our Ops manual (i.e. legal requirement) states that for Initial Training the trainee "swim with lifejacket", which sounds simple enough but the same legal document also states a requirement for the trainee to demonstrate "Donning of a life jacket ....in water", which is going to be pretty difficult if you can't tread water/swim.

On a practical point regardless of the law I agree with the point made by Beazlebub that:

An airline expects you to be an asset in an emergency not a liability. In other words it shouldn't in those circumstances fall to your colleagues or other passengers to rescue you because you have failed to learn a basic life skill.
...especially as a one day you might be Pilot in command in which case do you think some teenage cabin crew member or a pilot junior to you on the senority list is going to rush to rescue you..

I would gently suggest that rather than trying to argue a point of law either here or elsewhere you need to accept that for any crewmember some degree of confidence in and around the water is a must. It may be something the Safety Equipment and Procedures (SEP) trainersare looking for, and that time/money spent on swimming lessons might be a good thing....TBF you don't need to be an olympic swimmer, just learn to swim a length...

Last edited by wiggy; 6th Mar 2017 at 10:39.
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 11:46
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Thanks for the reply but where does it say that this is a legal requirement? I can't find it anywhere on the CAA website. If it's not a legal requirement then the airlines cannot force anyone to do it
ffs just learn to swim, it's not difficult.
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 12:08
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Maybe he has some sort of water phobia?
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 09:39
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Well this has escalated quickly.
Just to clear a few things up, I currently am working for an airline and I have completed the wet drill with them. I was merely asking the question as it a legal requirement.
Also for the people who said to just go and spend a few hours in the pool and learn I don't think you realise that it's not that easy to learn when you are older.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 10:55
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We used to carry out our lifejacket and wet dinghy drill with the cabin crew, which was always fun!

I can't remember the ability to swim being an issue.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 12:55
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if you are working for an airline in a position where you have to complete the wet drill, you really should know that airlines are in position to extend the minimum legal requirements with their own requirements and SOPs.

There is no requirement for a person to know how to swim to issue a licence and this is as far as the licencing authorities will take it. You can then go and look for a job with operators that fly inland (bush flying?) and will not require you to do the wet drill..

if the operator deems that it is necessary for the crew to know how to swim, then wet drill it shall be and no CAA in the world can object to that .. no legal framework in the world can dictate what additional skills employer can or cannot seek for
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 18:32
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Also for the people who said to just go and spend a few hours in the pool and learn I don't think you realise that it's not that easy to learn when you are older.
Yes it is! Shouldn't take you more than a few lessons, and then you will know that you are a potential asset rather than a potential liability in an emergency, or if you ever see somebody (else) in trouble.

Then one day you will truly be a mighty Duck!
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 19:13
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Just make sure you don't ditch in anything more then waist deep...

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