Height/Weight Waivers for Pilots

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by afmom2020, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    My DD started the Prep saying I'll never be a pilot. Fastforward a few months and now she's talking about being a pilot and getting waiver. Now, I'm sure that she will get the information she needs at USAFA, but I like to sound semi intelligent when talking to her about military stuff and google hasn't helped me in this instance.

    I know that they must be 64 to 77 inches tall when standing, and 34 to 40 inches tall when sitting and they must weigh 160 to 231 pounds, depending on height. I've also read that this is to qualify for all frames. She's very tiny. She's 60 inches and 120 pounds (I don't know how tall when sitting). So my question is with her height and weight what planes could she qualify to fly? Thanks in advance for any information.
     
  2. zachtx

    zachtx Member

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    Based on a couple 2016ers I know who are a similar size, they were given pilot training slots on the condition that they are not ejection seat qualified and cannot track fighter/bombers in the T-38.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    DSs friend got a pilot slot, but was told minute 1 that she would track T1 (heavies) even if she was number 1 in the class because she was too short in height, but tall enough in sitting .

    Sitting height is going to be the real issue.
    ~ Just to stress the sitting height issue. DS1 is 5'10. DS2 is 6'3. If they sit down next to each other nobody would know which one is taller from a standing height aspect. DS1 is all body/torso, and DS 2 is all legs.

    She can be 5 ft., but it comes down to sitting height.
     
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  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My 6'4" son has a 33" inseam; my 5'11" son has a 35". Go figure.

    Yes, as said above, it will totally depend on her seated height. And (as current regs read), no chance for fighter/bomber track.
     
  5. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    Thank you so much for the answers and explanation. As a follow up, what planes qualify as T1 or heavies? This is a field that I know nothing about so I'm sorry if these questions sound stupid?
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    A heavy is a cargo plane (C5M Super Galaxy is what my son flies; other son flies the C130J Super Hercules) - noted with a "C" connotation. Refueler... with a K,

    Fighter F, Attack A, Bomber B...
     
  7. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    Thank you! I keep seeing classifications being mentioned but for some reason it never clicked that the letter stands for the beginning of the word. Thanks again.
     
  8. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    One of our son's good friends from his class is a very tiny girl. She was a cheerleader at USAFA and was always the top of the pyramid. She got a waiver for height for a pilot slot and the AF flew her around on spring break checking different airframes to see if she could reach everything that she needed to for piloting them. The only one that she passed was the C-17. She went to UPT knowing that was the only airframe that she could get after training. She is now a C-17 pilot at Charleston AFB.

    Stealth_81
     
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  9. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    My daughter was a cheerleader for a competitive team. She's not able to cheer at the prep, but she can't wait to cheer next year and she's very likely going to be a flyer as well (she's the shortest at the prep and barely makes the minimum height requirement for USAFA). It's great to hear that she still has the chance to fly if that's what she will end up wanting to do.
     
  10. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    afmom,

    It is amazing how much the kids change and how much what they want out of life may change during their time at prep or at USAFA. Mine had no more idea of being pilots than chicken farmers when they went in. By 2* year, they wanted nothing else!

    It's a long ride for parents! Strap in!
     
  11. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    I love your avatar, fencer!

    And you are so right. It's been a learning curve for me and no matter how much I read, there is the occasional acronym that will throw me for a loop, but I expected as much. However I did not expect my 'I don't like to fly' daughter to turn around and say 'maybe, I'll be a pilot'. It certainly threw me for a loop.
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Oh Thank you!!! That was one exciting day, my twins' graduation!!!!

    I didn't know anything either, way back when (some would say "still don't.").
     
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  13. ProudSwimDad

    ProudSwimDad Member

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    Is the 160 minimum weight accurate?
     
  14. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    I got that from multiple sites including the AF rotc site so I'm assuming it is.
     
  15. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Simply stated, a pilot candidate must meet AF weight standards, which is based on height (min and max weight for your height). Too lazy to look up the chart, but the answer is "No, 160 pounds is NOT the min weight requirement". Knew many guys (and almost every gal I flew with) who were well below 160 pounds.

    Also knew a few who were either shorter than the minimum height, or slightly taller. Like others here have said, it's sitting height that matters, and what they'll base any waiver on if you're either too short or too tall. Tell your daughter not to slouch when they measure her sitting height! :)

    Bottom Line, if they are within the weight standards, and meet sitting height requirements, they are qualified.
     
  16. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    Those are the minimum requirements though if you want to qualify for all airframes. The reason you knew people who didn't meet the requirements is that there are waivers for USAFA cadets. At this time there are no waivers for officers coming out of ROTC or OCS, although there is talk of allowing waivers across the border to increase diversity and also deal with the current shortage of pilots.

    Fun fact, those height/weight requirements are the same for RPA pilots. Something else they are considering changing.
     
  17. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Let me be a little clearer. When you go for your qualification physical, they'll first check your height. If you are close to the being outside of height requirements, they'll then check your sitting height. Ultimately, it's sitting height that's the real determining factor.So, my apologies for the confusing use of the word "waiver".

    And the folks I knew with those "waivers" came from all commissioning sources, all backgrounds. In regards to the pilot shortage, it's exclusively an issue in the fighter pilot career field, so the issue becomes being physically ejection seat qualified. Again, based on sitting height. But there are a LOT more factors involved in that shortage issue well beyond the scope of this initial physical qualification discussion.
     
  18. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    I understood what you meant about the qualification requirements. I was thinking of the speech SecAF made back in March. I had to go and look it up because it's been a while. You are correct that people might come from different sources, I was thinking of this passage in the article:

    Cadets at the Air Force Academy who don't meet height requirements have consistent access to a waiver process that allows for additional measurements to see if they can safely operate specific aircraft.

    But James said the Air Force found many of its ROTC cadets don't have access to that waiver system. The service has 145 ROTC detachments across the country, she said, and many aren't near medical teams that are authorized to take those measurements. This eliminated nearly 37 percent of female ROTC cadets, and several male cadets as well.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am Bullet's DW and I know for a fact that they have waived ROTC cadets because the female I spoke in post #3 was a female AFROTC grad.

    I also found that statement by James a little strange. AFROTC cadets selected for Pilot or CSO will be sent to WPAFB for their FC1 physical. It is a 3 day TDY,
    ~ They go during the summer of their rising senior year. AFROTC cadets are selected for rated in their junior year @March.

    Thus, the comment of 145 dets and many aren't near medical teams that are authorized makes absolutely no sense at all since all of those cadets go to Wright Pat for their FC1 physical and it is administered by the flight docs there.

    I get maybe OCS because our friends DS that was selected for CSO out of OCS rated board was not sent to WPAFB, but not true from anything I have ever seen for ROTC.
     
  20. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    I've seen you and Bullet post in the past, and I completely believe you.

    I was just pointing out where I got the information about lack of waivers. Again, not to mean that what you're saying is false, but politicians have a way to frame things however it suits them and people like me who have no real first hand experience have very few ways to corroborate what it's said. It's why I spend so much time on this forum and trust me I've read many of your posts explaining how things works after the academy to get a better idea about the reality of things vs. the advertised way of how things works.
     

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