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A bit of advice for aspiring Pilots, Observers and Aircrewmen

Olly013

Midshipman
Just a quick post for those aspiring Aircrew candidates:

Today, I sat my Aircrew Medical at RAF Cranwell and unfortunately three out of six guys weren’t declared fit for service as Aircrew. All three failed for the same reason: height.
Needless to say the guys were pretty miffed that they had spent endless hours on preparation to get their dream job just to fall at the last hurdle due to something they cannot control, change and could ultimately have known before beginning the entire process. I would suggest that those wanting to go for Aircrew make sure they are within all the anatomical measurement requirements beforehand to avoid disappointment.

I’m not sure what the exact measurements are but I’m sure a call to an AFCO will yield some accurate information. I do know, however, that the measurements are strict; one guy failed for being 7 millimeters too tall!

Anyway, I hope this is useful and if anyone has any questions about the medical or anything to do with the application process as a whole, specifically for pilot candidates, feel free to ask. I’ll do the best I can to answer from the experience I’ve had.

Best of luck,

Olly013
 
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Waspie

War Hero
I assume you passed Olly?

The medical is the one part of aircrew selection you have no control over. Out of the twelve of my lot that had their A/C medical six left with multiple appointments for specialist appointments leading to surgery. Three of us passed. It's a killer.

You can read and prepare mentally but the medical!!!!!! Lap of the gods I'm afraid.
 

finknottle

Banned
I don't suppose it's anything to do with the fact that the mandatory fitted vanity mirror is non- adjustable?
 

Waspie

War Hero
I don't suppose it's anything to do with the fact that the mandatory fitted vanity mirror is non- adjustable?

Not applicable during selection Finks. You get measured for mirror fitment once you commence Basic Flying Training. Then on Advanced Flying Training you do the clicky bed course including correct tanning techniques!!!!
 

Olly013

Midshipman
Not applicable during selection Finks. You get measured for mirror fitment once you commence Basic Flying Training. Then on Advanced Flying Training you do the clicky bed course including correct tanning techniques!!!!

Haha that was funny!

Yeah Waspie I managed to get through but, as you say, it's bloody nerve racking cause you've really no idea how its going. I just really felt for the guys who had spent one or two years working to get this job and got dropped at the last hurdle. Checking yourself to make sure you fit the measurement would save so much potential disappointment down the line.
 

Bad CO

Admin
Although they may have failed for being too tall it is more likely that they were out of the anthropometric range required for aircrew. Typically these measurements are things like buttock to heel and buttock to knee. I'm not sure whether these are published anywhere but I'd also suggest they'll be quite difficult to accurately measure unless you are properly trained.

I know two guys of fairly normal height/stature at my last unit who failed the Army Pilot medical on exactly these grounds. Another point worth noting is that as most cockpits are designed for men, women are more likely to fall outside these criteria......
 

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Good post, Olly; great advice. Well done for passing and good luck with your future career.

Bad CO said:
I know two guys of fairly normal height/stature at my last unit who failed the Army Pilot medical on exactly these grounds...

Why the hell would anyone normal wanna become a Pilot?! :shock: :wink:

Bad CO said:
...as most cockpits are designed for men, women are more likely to fall outside these criteria...

Surely that's what the seatbelts and canopy are for..? :? :twisted:
 

Bad CO

Admin
You want the best reason to be a pilot?

There's an story from the NI days of a sprog 2Lt getting in the back of a Lynx flown by an old sweaty WO2. The subaltern is clearly very excited having heard tales of exactly what the mighty twin engined torque monster can do in the right hands. As they gently lift off from Bessbrook Mill, he starts quizzing the pilot about backflips, world speed records, rolls, etc. Clearly frustrated by the steady progress and wanting a bit more excitement he leans towards the pilot and says

"Go on Sarn't Major, try and make me sick"

Without a word the pilot leans forward, puts his hand into his lower pocket on his flying coveralls and hands something back to the young officer - his payslip!
 

finknottle

Banned
Not applicable during selection Finks. You get measured for mirror fitment once you commence Basic Flying Training. Then on Advanced Flying Training you do the clicky bed course including correct tanning techniques!!!!


Good to know as nothing is too good for the Senior Service fly boys. I have nothing but admiration for anyone who has the skill and balls to land an aircraft on a postage stamp in the middle of the ocean.
 

Waspie

War Hero
You want the best reason to be a pilot?

Without a word the pilot leans forward, puts his hand into his lower pocket on his flying coveralls and hands something back to the young officer - his payslip!

In my day and on the good ship Euryalus, the Capt. (Jeffries), used to announce the new pay rises. After he announced them by rank he used to 'invite' the pilot and aircrewman, (me) to his cabin to discuss the flying pay award.

What an amazing wind up. I guarantee I wouldn't get as far as the first landing before the names started flying!!!! WAFU twats blah - blah!!!

Yup, ££££££'s was an good incentive for me!!! Probably like the submariners. Do the work - get the pay!!!! Even if it is for advanced clicky bed training!!!!!!
 

Olly013

Midshipman
Although they may have failed for being too tall it is more likely that they were out of the anthropometric range required for aircrew. Typically these measurements are things like buttock to heel and buttock to knee. I'm not sure whether these are published anywhere but I'd also suggest they'll be quite difficult to accurately measure unless you are properly trained.

I know two guys of fairly normal height/stature at my last unit who failed the Army Pilot medical on exactly these grounds. Another point worth noting is that as most cockpits are designed for men, women are more likely to fall outside these criteria......


I spoke to a few of the guys who failed after they'd cheered up a bit and it turns out it's not just height as you say. Typically it was the buttock to knee or buttock to heel lengths that were letting people down. I'd imagine if you got the measurements from your AFCO you could pop down to your local GP and request to get measured. Might cost a few quid but in hindsight I'd definitely get it done.
 

scouse

War Hero
All this about buttock to knee and buttock to heel length, makes me smile. A fixed wing pilot some 6ft plus high and a chopper pilot who was as small as a pigmy. To name but a few, suppose that was when we needed them :dontknow::lol:
 
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Waspie

War Hero
I spoke to a few of the guys who failed after they'd cheered up a bit and it turns out it's not just height as you say. Typically it was the buttock to knee or buttock to heel lengths that were letting people down. I'd imagine if you got the measurements from your AFCO you could pop down to your local GP and request to get measured. Might cost a few quid but in hindsight I'd definitely get it done.

It's not just the measurements Olly, you'd have to be certain to measure from the correct datums. ie centre of joint to ? or is it where the knee starts, get my drift. Unless your GP is an aviation specialist then I wouldn't give much store to his dimensions.

Not being negative but having been through the process the measuring is very precise and done by guys that do it for a living whereas a GP will do it when?
 
Although they may have failed for being too tall it is more likely that they were out of the anthropometric range required for aircrew. Typically these measurements are things like buttock to heel and buttock to knee. I'm not sure whether these are published anywhere but I'd also suggest they'll be quite difficult to accurately measure unless you are properly trained.

I know two guys of fairly normal height/stature at my last unit who failed the Army Pilot medical on exactly these grounds. Another point worth noting is that as most cockpits are designed for men, women are more likely to fall outside these criteria......

one of the few.jpg
Something like this then?:D
 

Pontius

War Hero
Olly,

Were you all RN candidates or were the ones that failed Crabs? I ask because the Crabs will necessarily have stricter anthropometric measurements because of the ejection seats on their training aircraft, as well as their front-line toys. Clearly the RN and Pongos can allow those with greater altitude to pass because of the more generous cockpit size in helicopters, the lack of bang seats in the trainers and the paucity of things to knock your knees on if you decide to use Mr Baker's flying seat. I'm not saying they do that nowadays but it certainly used to be the case. I suppose in these times they've got so few seats to fill that they can be fussy buggers and don't have to 'bend' the rules. I've got 3 (non-fast jet) mates that are decidedly above average height for pilots, the tallest must be gusting 6'7" :shock:
 

Olly013

Midshipman
Olly,

Were you all RN candidates or were the ones that failed Crabs? I ask because the Crabs will necessarily have stricter anthropometric measurements because of the ejection seats on their training aircraft, as well as their front-line toys. Clearly the RN and Pongos can allow those with greater altitude to pass because of the more generous cockpit size in helicopters, the lack of bang seats in the trainers and the paucity of things to knock your knees on if you decide to use Mr Baker's flying seat. I'm not saying they do that nowadays but it certainly used to be the case. I suppose in these times they've got so few seats to fill that they can be fussy buggers and don't have to 'bend' the rules. I've got 3 (non-fast jet) mates that are decidedly above average height for pilots, the tallest must be gusting 6'7" :shock:

Pontius,

The guys who failed were all RN. We did have an AAC guy who was getting tested and a few of his tests were different from us RN guys. So it may be the case that it's different for the different services but I don't know.
 

stilton12

Newbie
After passing the selection procedure, it was because I failed the RN aircrew medical at Sultan that went on to complete a 30+ yr career in the FAA as a pilot...Confused? Let me explain: When I applied I was a debauched and idle young scallywag who smoked at least a packet-a-day. To quote Doc Baldock (over the still smoking pipe he had on his desk!), " sorry, young man, you've failed because I'm not going to accept that apology of a pair of lungs."

It was mid-November '75. He told be to go away, do a two mile run a day, cut down to no more than five a day and go back at see him in a month. I saw him on Christmas eve, having done a month's worth of 2x2 mile runs a day, just for good measure. He acknowledged that my lungs were clearer, but mu recovery rate was still poor, but he passed me saying that at least now I had a fighting chance of passing the rigours of BRNC, which I started on 6 Jan '76.

His actions got me through. I then continued to be a debauched and idle scallywag for the next 30 yrs - exactly what the FAA wanted!!
 
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