RAF. Height Restrictions

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Beniiboii
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#1
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#1
I'm 5 foot 6 inches, so I'm definitely below average. I'm certainly looking into fast jet piloting in the RAF and I was wondering if this was too small?
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SCIENCE :D
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#2
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#2
You are probably perfect size to be a fighter jet pilot, I think you have to be below a certain height to be a pilot rather than above a certain height.
Could you imagine a 6 foot 2 15 stone guy trying to squeeze into a fighter jet cockpit. I'm sure it is all on the RAF website somewhere though.
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Carthaginian
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#3
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#3
That's like the ideal height for piloting man.
NASA's astronaut heights were 5'2-6'2 I think, so you're pretty much fine.
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Drewski
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Beniiboii)
I'm 5 foot 6 inches, so I'm definitely below average. I'm certainly looking into fast jet piloting in the RAF and I was wondering if this was too small?
It's not about actual height, it's about your proportions. It's about how well you can reach instruments, what your sitting height is, etc.

I'm 6'2 and I fit perfectly well in most cockpits the RAF has. A friend of mine got in for pilot and he was 6'5. Another friend did and he's about 5'9.

It's not one size fits all, so just telling us your height means nothing. The posters above mean well, but I'm afraid they're talking out of term by saying you'll definitely be ok - there's simply no way of knowing that.

The only way you'll know is by applying and being measured up
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NFI
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#5
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#5
Your anthropometric measurements will dictate your suitability to fly particular aircraft. The only way to find out is to get measured up.
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threeportdrift
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Beniiboii)
I'm 5 foot 6 inches, so I'm definitely below average. I'm certainly looking into fast jet piloting in the RAF and I was wondering if this was too small?
I'm 5' 2" and was fine, back in the day. As has been said, it's about specific body measurements (hip to knee, functional reach etc) and only the RAF can do those measurements. Five foot 6 should be fine.
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Tempest II
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Drewski)
A friend of mine got in for pilot and he was 6'5. Another friend did and he's about 5'9.
Out of curiosity, did the 6ft 5 friend go onto fast jets or a different platform? I'm just over 6ft 5 & a flight in a Hawk or Alpha Jet was a no-go unfortunately. I had to make do with a bloody Tutor instead when I left my last unit.
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Drewski
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Tempest II)
Out of curiosity, did the 6ft 5 friend go onto fast jets or a different platform? I'm just over 6ft 5 & a flight in a Hawk or Alpha Jet was a no-go unfortunately. I had to make do with a bloody Tutor instead when I left my last unit.
He was in the bunch that got chopped in 2010, but was headed to multis.
You probably would fit now though considering they're basing the sizing off the Hawk T2 which is a little roomier.
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Tempest II
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Drewski)
He was in the bunch that got chopped in 2010, but was headed to multis.
You probably would fit now though considering they're basing the sizing off the Hawk T2 which is a little roomier.
Yeah 2010 was an awful year for all involved. I joined in 2011 and there were actually a few guys who'd passed officer training but been chopped on trade training who then went in as JRs. They didn't have to spend long at Halton though for obvious reasons.

I haven't seen the interior of the T2 yet but it'd make sense to make them bigger. At least I didn't have the issue one of my mates had who was too wide to fit in a Hawk
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Crichton_123
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#10
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#10
You should be fine, however the only person who is qualified to give you the answer is the Dr carrying out your aircrew medical.

If you're still concerned, speak to your local AFCO.
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Fritz Lansen
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Crichton_123)
You should be fine, however the only person who is qualified to give you the answer is the Dr carrying out your aircrew medical.

If you're still concerned, speak to your local AFCO.
There's a simpler answer that used to be more fashionable. You APPLY - don't get caught up in the security blanket of the internet. You do the selection process and either pass it or find out your are unsuitable from the suitably qualified people who will conduct your assessments, be they medical or otherwise.

I'm sure people can quote figures if you really like, but as with anything, measuring equipment will be calibrated differently etc so you cannot ever be sure (as an example, try (OP) weighing yourself on several sets of scales. Even my most recent measurements taken on my 5 year currency trip to RAFCAM (RAF Centre of Av Medicine) differed my more than just a few mm.
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Crichton_123
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Fritz Lansen)
There's a simpler answer that used to be more fashionable. You APPLY - don't get caught up in the security blanket of the internet. You do the selection process and either pass it or find out your are unsuitable from the suitably qualified people who will conduct your assessments, be they medical or otherwise.

I'm sure people can quote figures if you really like, but as with anything, measuring equipment will be calibrated differently etc so you cannot ever be sure (as an example, try (OP) weighing yourself on several sets of scales. Even my most recent measurements taken on my 5 year currency trip to RAFCAM (RAF Centre of Av Medicine) differed my more than just a few mm.

Hence why I said it was down to the person who is qualified to make the decision (who will have the correct measuring equipment), which you have kindly repeated.

However, I understand why an individual would ask these questions. Considering the medical is the 3rd stage of the selection process, it's a lot to undergo when potentially you can be given an answer there and then. Why find out then when you've come all that way to then potentially have your dream shattered?

A more important thing I've mentioned, speaking to AFCO which will most certainly avoid one getting caught up in the security blanket of the internet.
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Fritz Lansen
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Crichton_123)
Hence why I said it was down to the person who is qualified to make the decision (who will have the correct measuring equipment), which you have kindly repeated.
Not really. Your post, IMHO, was fairly ambiguous and the advice not necessarily to the OP's best advantage.

However, I understand why an individual would ask these questions. Considering the medical is the 3rd stage of the selection process, it's a lot to undergo when potentially you can be given an answer there and then. Why find out then when you've come all that way to then potentially have your dream shattered?

A more important thing I've mentioned, speaking to AFCO which will most certainly avoid one getting caught up in the security blanket of the internet.
At best the AFCO might be able to supply a set of tolerances for each measurement, so the OP won't get an answer there and then. To the OP these won't be much use. 5ft 6 isn't really short, so in this case they really ought to bite the bullet.
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Crichton_123
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Fritz Lansen)
Not really. Your post, IMHO, was fairly ambiguous and the advice not necessarily to the OP's best advantage.

Ambiguous? I stated 2 things. The first, the only person who can answer the question, which is the medic. Second, AFCO. I don't know how you can interpret that anymore.


At best the AFCO might be able to supply a set of tolerances for each measurement, so the OP won't get an answer there and then. To the OP these won't be much use. 5ft 6 isn't really short, so in this case they really ought to bite the bullet.
But this is x100 better than listening to the bull**it that gets fed in these forums. Why do you think the AFCO are there in the first place?

I don't think it's short. I know fast jet pilots both shorter and taller than me (I'm 5ft 11), however it's out of an individuals hands who would understandably want to question these things. All I wanted to do was provide the correct information in broad terms.

AFCO advise (and potentially could have the answer there and then), medic knows.
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Drewski
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#15
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#15
(Original post by Crichton_123)
AFCO advise (and potentially could have the answer there and then), medic knows.
Sorry, but that's simply impossible. They'd have no way of "knowing there and then".

The only way anybody knows if they're suitable size-wise is to apply. Just saying height is meaningless in this context.
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Crichton_123
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#16
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#16
(Original post by Drewski)
Sorry, but that's simply impossible. They'd have no way of "knowing there and then".

The only way anybody knows if they're suitable size-wise is to apply. Just saying height is meaningless in this context.

Sorry for the confusion. I wasn't specially talking about height, etc. Just general advise and guidance with regards to a career in the military.
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Drewski
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#17
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#17
(Original post by Crichton_123)
Sorry for the confusion. I wasn't specially talking about height, etc. Just general advise and guidance with regards to a career in the military.
They know bits, certainly, as well as generic parts, but unless they themselves came from the trade you're interested in then the likelihood is you'll get better answers from forums like these than you do at an AFCO.
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Crichton_123
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Drewski)
They know bits, certainly, as well as generic parts, but unless they themselves came from the trade you're interested in then the likelihood is you'll get better answers from forums like these than you do at an AFCO.
Sorry but as much I want to agree, I don't. It's such a risky path coming through here. So much sh*t is spoken. One half is right, the other isn't, therefore it's not worth it.
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Drewski
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Crichton_123)
Sorry but as much I want to agree, I don't. It's such a risky path coming through here. So much sh*t is spoken. One half is right, the other isn't, therefore it's not worth it.
I've seen more wrong answers given at the AFCO than I have here.
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Andy1973
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#20
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#20
There is no "height" restriction for employment as a pilot. That's because height as most people measure it (standing height) is pretty meaningless for considering whether you fit in a given cockpit.

However, there are a whole range of anthropometric requirements for potential aircrew. These are specific to the functional requirements of operating an aircraft. Sitting height ensures you aren't going to bang your head on the canopy or not be able to see over the coming. Buttock to knee length makes sure you won't leave your kneecaps behind if you eject. Functional reach checks you will be able to reach all of the flight deck controls while strapped in.

Most cockpits are designed to be accessible for the 2nd to the 98th percentiles of the population. So most people should fit. However, a basic tenet of anthropometry is that there is no such thing as an average person. It is almost impossible to find someone who is in the second or third quantiles for all of the 10 main anthropetric measurements.

For example, I'm a pretty 'average' 5 foot 11 inches. But I am long in the back and have short legs. Accordingly, I am only a borderline pass on sitting height for fast jets.

Anthro measurements need specialist equipment and a trained operator. AFCO will not be able to advise you.

All that can be said here is that if the closer you are to 'average' height and build, the less likely it is that you will have a problem. But as others have said, there are very tall and very short people who get in and relatively 'average' people that don't.
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