Too big?

Good afternoon,

I’m a 41 year old man residing in Delaware. I am contemplating a career change to be a pilot. Did my online “test” and called to make my discovery flight. I was promptly told I was too big at 6’5 280lbs. I’m a former college and Canadian football player in relatively good shape. I was told it was ATP Company policy to be under 6’3 250… the 250 I can get to, but the 6’3 I can’t unfortunately… completely discouraged right now. Seems like genetics killed my dream

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Unfortunately most training aircraft are made for the “average” size person and you clearly are above average. If I were you I’d check out some other flight schools that might happen to have larger capacity planes they can use for training. It will probably cost you a few extra dollars (bigger engines burn more fuel and have higher maintenance costs) but they are out there.



There are flight schools out there that have different sized airplanes that can accommodate larger students. I would call around.


Do not give up on your dream. Like the mentors suggested, call around to other schools, as I honestly don’t know if ATP would make a height exception. The weight has to do with the weight and balance for the aircraft, and 250 should be no issue if you can get down there and stay there. The height…well, you’re gonna feel like you’re riding a tricycle in most training airplanes. 172s are usually better on space, while getting into an Archer or Seminole may be a serious issue. Some schools use Diamonds which have adjustable pedals and seem to have lots of space (at least it appeared to be plenty for me at 6’0”)