Thinking about becoming a pilot incurs so many different considerations.
However, something that is perhaps overlooked is whether being a pilot has any weight restrictions.
Of course, for many professions, there is a requirement to be physically fit, and you will likely have to go through fitness testing for things like firefighting, the army, and the police force.
However, you can be both fit and fat. Fatness does not always mean you are not fit. As well as this, you can look as though you have extra fat on your body but still technically be a healthy weight.
So, with this in mind, does being fat stop you from being a pilot? We will be exploring this question, as well as whether you can be a pilot if you are overweight, and any weight restrictions that apply, in more detail in this article.
Can a fat person become pilot?
Yes, a fat person may be able to become a pilot. However, there will likely be restrictions in place over what sort of aircraft they can fly and how heavy they are allowed to be.
It may also depend on where in the world you learn to fly, as different countries and official flight organizations may have different standards.
Because of this, it is difficult to determine whether there is an exact rule or standard when it comes to the question of whether a pilot can be fat.
Certainly, we know that the FAA allows fat and obese people to have some sort of pilot’s license.
However, this is typically for a ‘pilot-in-command’ role and is usually in regards to non-rigid lighter than air crafts such as blimps.
A very fat person is likely to be heavy, and with this in mind, it is important to consider whether there will be any risks or limitations related to weight and balance.
As such, a fat person may be regarded as too heavy to fly in smaller aircraft such as those used for training.
You may also want to consider the size of the cockpit. A fat person may not be able to fit into the cockpit of an airplane or other aircraft, thus making it impossible to fly, or at least make the pilot very uncomfortable.
Can you be a pilot if you are overweight?
You may be able to become a pilot if you are overweight. In terms of BMI (Body Mass Index), a distinction is made between ‘obese’ and ‘overweight’.
Many people who look totally healthy, and indeed, are perfectly healthy, may have a BMI that classes them as ‘overweight’.
BMI is a figure calculated based on your weight in relation to your height and is meant to determine what is classed as a healthy weight range for your height.
Of course, this does not differentiate between weight from fat and weight from muscle.
With this in mind, a very lean, and muscular person could weigh and be classed as ‘overweight’ when in actual fact they are in better physical condition than a very thin person at the ‘healthy’ BMI range.
What we mean by all of this is that the term ‘overweight’ does not always mean ‘fat’ or ‘obese’. It is hard to determine how ‘overweight’ a person needs to be deemed as unhealthy as different bodies have different abilities.
For some people, they may feel and be healthier when they are technically ‘overweight’, whereas others may feel better being within their ‘healthy’ weight, according to the BMI chart.
So, in terms of whether you can be a pilot if you are overweight, the answer will more likely depend on how healthy and physically able you are.
Provided you pass any necessary fitness tests, and you can fit into the cockpit, there is unlikely to be a huge issue.
Sure, certain planes and small aircraft may have weight restrictions, so you may need to bear that in mind, but generally, it will likely depend on many other factors rather than just your weight.
Is there a weight limit to be a pilot?
No, there is not currently a weight limit to be a pilot. At least in the US, there is no official weight limit that cannot be exceeded if you want to become a pilot.
Instead, the focus is far more on the overall health of the individual and the abilities they have, they simply state that a person must be capable of performing the duties of a pilot.
Sure, being extremely overweight may hinder your ability to do these pilot duties, and in that case, you may well be refused.
However, that is not limited just to weight, and an unfit thin person may also get refused. There may, however, be weight restrictions on certain crafts, so do bear that in mind.