my first flight (discovery) was last week. it was amazing and I am super sure I want to continue and get my PPL. however, I noticed I had a bit of a big issue reaching the rudder pedals. I’m short for a guy, 5 ft 3, and even with my seat as close to the rudder pedals as possible I had to lean way forward in my sear to reach the pedals. am I too short to fly? is there anything I can really do about this ? idk if this matters but I was in a c172
Many shorter students get a set of seat cushions (back and bottom) in order to reach the pedals and see over the glareshield. I’ve seen students and instructors that were shorter than you, so you’re not too short.
It shouldn’t be a problem as long as you are able to fully manipulate the flight controls. Make sure to adjust the seat to its full range. Plus there are various seat cushions and back supports that can raise you up in the seat and closer to the pedals.
I took my Discovery flight a month ago and had the same problem. You and I are the same height. However, before we even walked out to the plane, the instructor brought along a cushion.
It definitely helped and I was comfortable. In fact, I think I was even more comfortable than the instructor, who was cramped due to his height.
If nothing else, the next 1500 hours of flying should be comfortable!
As the others have said, cushions are your friend. Once to get to jets they have a bit more adjustability and the rudder pedals actually move as well to get you a better fit.
On a btw, gee whiz point, I actually had a friend a few years ago at the Regionals who was on the shorter side. He had always dreamed of flying for the Air Force and actually went to the academy. Long before he enrolled he checked the height requirement for pilots (the military has them) and was very happy he just made the cut. What he didn’t know was in addition to the overall height requirement, there was also a “seated height” requirement (since bodies are different). Sadly that he did not meet and was unable to fly in the Air Force.
awesome! I noticed this on my discovery too. are you starting flight school? happy flying!
oh man that sucks a lot for your friend! luckily the good old fighter cessna has no height req
thanks this is very helpful! I was so worried my height would mess up my flight training
okay thanks. I had no issue at all with the yoke, just the rudder. my seat was as close to the firewall as we could get it.
Get a cushion and try it out, the school should let you sit in the airplane on the ground and try it without charging you. Make sure you have real, full deflection of the rudder pedals as there might just come a time when you need it.
hm okay this is super helpful. thank you very much and happy flying !
I fly DA-20 C1s and our seats don’t adjust, but rather the rudder pedals do, and they come very close. I bet if you’re under 5ft tall, you could reach them with ease.
The funny part is that I am 6’ft tall, but I need a cushion to fly a particular one as it comes with a G500, and as a result has a taller glareshield.
I got my private in a DA-20, it is a nice little airplane.
Airbus and Boeing rudder pedals adjust back and forth, as do the seats.
Case in point I recently took an airplane from a Capt who doesn’t care for me very much. To demonstrate his animosity he slid the seat and the rudder pedals all the way forward requiring me to do some gymnastics to get seated. My thought while doing so was WOW! you can actually set this plane up for a child to fly!
wow how rude ! hope you don’t have to fly with him long…
good to have so much flexibility though, my cockpit is awkward to maneuver and I cant adjust the pedals just the seat and need multiple cushions lol
I never have to fly with him. We’re both Capts. He was finished flying for the day and I was starting.
ah okay. thats good at least.
also what is the appropriate action to take if your pilot or copilot doesn’t get along with you/want to work with you/work well with you? can you request to change the flight crew?
If things are very bad you can ask for crew change (but that’s rare) and most airlines will allow you to “no bid” other pilots. In my experience this again is not the norm. We’re all professionals and are expected to work well with others and in most cases we do.
That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for taking the time to explain, I am sure you are busy.
Reminds me of my old job, I was a data analyst and eventually became lead analyst of a small team. We could transfer out people (with our boss’s signature) but it was frowned upon- like you said we are all professional men and we are here to do a job. If you let your emotions/personal life interfere enough with your job you need your boss to sign off and change the team, maybe you need another line of work.
Fly safe Adam.
At my airline we are trained to use buzz words to communicate to the other pilot that something doesn’t feel right. That typically diffuses the situation unless someone is just having a bad day. If conflict resolution doesn’t work there are ways to remove ourselves from the trip but it’s not a common occurrence and usually/should involve a conversation with the Union and a Duty Officer before that happens.