Height difficulties

Hi everyone!
I tried to sift through other questions so I apologize as I can only imagine this has been brought up in the past…
I am 5’3" and having difficulties seeing over the plane but also reaching the pedals. Clearly, I need some sort of boost but I am not sure how to handle the pedal situation. I am at a point where one click too forward will allow me to easily brake but then my legs will be uncomfortably bent for the rudder. I move the seat back one click and then I am good for the rudder controls but a little too far back for the brakes… I am hoping that someone out there has dealt with similar issues and was able to resolve them in hopes of possibly helping me!
Any feedback is greatly appreciated!!! (Currently flying in the Piper Archer)

Thank you,

1 Like

Try a pillow… or pillows… or a cushion made specifically for this issue.

You’re definitely not the first, and I’ve seen people use everyone of these methods successfully. I’ve even seen someone use their textbook! Find what works for you… but also remember sometimes flying can be a little uncomfortable for the legs and stretching can help alleviate some of that discomfort as well.

Chris F

Hi Chris,

Thank you for that!
I was actually looking at that exact cushion but just wanted to see if there were any other thoughts, suggestions, or feedback.
Thank you again!


Honestly I’m surprised you’re having issues. At 5’3" you’re far from the shortest pilot I’ve seen. I really think you just need to play with a few pillow/cushion combos until you find something that works.


I had a few friends through flight school all around your size. Not a bid deal at all. You just have to find what works with seat adjustments and potentially the addition of a cushion. When you get to the regionals and beyond, the seat adjustments are much more diverse so you shouldn’t have to deal with lugging the cushion around much after 1500 hours.

Yes, once at the airlines…you start lugging around the lumbar support pillow :sweat_smile:

Chris F

1 Like

So true actually :joy::joy::joy:


If it makes you feel any better, I am 5’11 and when I fly the 737 I always feel like the seat is either too far forward or too far back, I can never seem to get it just right.


I also often wish there was another notch between the slightly too forward and slightly too aft notches on the seat setting: the Goldilocks notch. Most of the time I’ll settle for the forward notch to ensure positive control on the ground and it doesn’t bother me too much in the air during a relatively short and busy maneuver-training flight. On cross country flights I’ll move one or two clicks back when I get to cruise. Just don’t forget to move forward again before landing. Add “seat adjusted and locked” to your approach checklist if it’s not already there.