Height Waivers

VJ.Chinook

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Feb 20, 2017
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As someone who wants to be a pilot of some sort in the Air Force but is only 62 inches tall in comparison to the 64 inch requirement and has a 32 inch sitting height in comparison to the 34 inch requirement how would I get around that. Would my only option be to fly for the navy whose requirements I meet or could I get a height waiver. I know I have finished growing (haven't grown at all in over a year). Also, what would my limitations be to what planes I could pilot as a person who meets all requirements except for the standing and sitting height?
 

DrMom

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While I cannot tell you which air frames you might be able to fly, you should know that in March 2015 the Air Force introduced the potential for more height wavers to create more women and minority pilots. Anything that requires a waiver can vanish with the stroke of a pen, so I wouldn't build my life around it but more women serving as pilots does not seem likely to go away any time soon as more women enter all of the positions in the DoD.
 

Capri120

DH USAFA '79, DD USAFA '20
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It's hard to say whether height waivers will increase to include more women and minorities. The height requirement is in place due to the ejection seat design and harnesses. If you are too short or too tall, they do not support you properly and the chance for serious injury (paralysis) death go up significantly. The height requirements are not arbitrary.

That being said, if you can get a waiver, then you would also be required to sign something acknowledging the risk as well as not being able to sue for the injury or death.

It is possible. I personally know a pilot who ejected and injured his spine when he hit a structure nearby. The AF did not want him to fly anymore since another incident would most likely paralyze him. He insisted and signed paperwork accepting the risk.

This young man was just selected for Colonel and is an excellent pilot and officer.

BTW...he did meet the height requirements.
 

DrMom

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Actually, the Marine Corps had a problem with AV8Bs...for a Marine to be the right size, it meant that a woman would exceed the height weight standard. No waivers there. However, a search will quickly turn up the information on the USAF initiative to produce more diverse pilots.
 

Stealth_81

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One of my son's best friends at USAFA was the same height as you (She was a flyer on the Academy cheer squad). She got a pilot slot and the AF flew her to several AF bases over Spring Break senior year to do sitting demonstrations in several airframes where she had to show that she could reach all controls. The C-17 fit her due to the available adjustments of the seat and pedals. No other airframe worked, so she went to UPT knowing that she could only drop C-17s. She is now a successful Aircraft Commander in the C-17. It is possible.

Stealth_81
 

Pima

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Same happened with my DS's friend. She entered UPT knowing that if she winged she would only fly heavies.
 

jmoakley

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Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
23
As someone who wants to be a pilot of some sort in the Air Force but is only 62 inches tall in comparison to the 64 inch requirement and has a 32 inch sitting height in comparison to the 34 inch requirement how would I get around that. Would my only option be to fly for the navy whose requirements I meet or could I get a height waiver. I know I have finished growing (haven't grown at all in over a year). Also, what would my limitations be to what planes I could pilot as a person who meets all requirements except for the standing and sitting height?
On the same topic, what is the tallest cadet to receive a pilot's slot? My DS is 6'7"....
 

Capri120

DH USAFA '79, DD USAFA '20
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Feb 10, 2016
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Once again, it will depend on the air frame. Fighters typically do not accommodate taller people. A quick Google search came up with the following for fighters: 64 - 77" height, 34 - 40" sitting height. May vary depending on actual jet.
 
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