Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Fat Guy Learning To Fly  
User currently offlineIlovebeer From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 10 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7323 times:

Hello All,

First off, let me say that I have been lurking on the forum and just joined today so please forgive me if there is a more appropriate section for this.

My question is, I am overweight (At 310 and 5'9") and am very interested in learning to fly. I know that if I ever want to get into the cockpit of an airliner, I need to lose weight, but I am very anxious to start flight school. I am curious as to whether it is a possibility that I will not be able to start flying until I lose weight. I know that the aircraft have weight and balance requirements, but would I be able to get away with training in a C172? Is there a more appropriate aircraft that I can learn in? Or am I out of luck until I shed some poundage?


Jonny

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineACdreamliner From UK - Scotland, joined May 2005, 519 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7315 times:

I'm in your boat to buddy. 6'2 and 325lbs. So i'd be interested in knowing...

Gav



Where are you going?
User currently offlineGofly From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 1727 posts, RR: 38
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7293 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Let me be the first to welcome you to A.net!  

You'll find that maybe you'll have some problems fitting into something such as a C152 or Tomahawk; however, it's more than likely you'll have no problems in something like a C172 or a Warrior. It will cost you slightly more per hour, but that's the price you'll pay. The best thing to do would be to pop down to your local flight school and have a chat with them; it's often a case of trying the plane, and if you fit, away you go. Nobody will let your weight stop you learning to fly.

I wouldn't worry about it at all.

-Gofly

Edit: because I really can't spell today...

[Edited 2008-01-21 11:58:49]


Living the high life on my ex-Airliners.net Moderator pension...
User currently offlineMav75 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 228 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7282 times:

Guys,

Any aircraft a student pilot trains on (Cessna, Pipers, whatever) is going to be pretty crowded for average sized adults. If you think coach on an airliner is crowded, you ain't seen anything yet. It's pretty much like 2 people sitting together in a downsized Miata. It also gets really hot in there really quickly.

I don't know if general aviation has rules concerning height and weight, but you might have problems getting medical certificates. So if not for your comfort or medical certifications, lose the weight for your health.


User currently offlineKBMIFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7282 times:

The 172 is a 4-seater, so you should be fine if it just you and an instructor. You might have some problems if you are training in a two seat aircraft, such as a 150 or a 152. Try to find a lightweight instructor  Smile. Also, the C152 is a really skinny plane, so it is not much fun to train in if you are a big guy.

I trained in a C152 at around 230 pounds, and I am sure my instructor was around 180. We trained with full fuel several times and I am sure we were overweight every one of those times.


User currently offlineN353SK From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 822 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7189 times:

Weight and balance would be fine with you, an instructor, and full fuel in a 4-seat plane. Rates on a 172 are probably going to be $30-$40 more per hour than a 152.

Getting your medical certificate may be an issue. Take a look at Flightphysical.com to get a general idea of whether or not you'll be able to pass.

And I hate to sound rude, but your biggest challenge may be finding a CFI who wants to share a cramped cockpit with you.


User currently offlinePU752 From Uruguay, joined Mar 2005, 584 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7062 times:

As mentioned above, it'd be quite uncomfortable for you and your instructor to fit in a C150 or C152...although the 172 its not that bigger you'll find the 172 much better.............on the other hand you could have some issues when you get through the medical certificate mainly because overweight DO affect your blood pressure, cholesterol,etc and this will be notified by the doctors and you might get a word from asking some deeper studies.... but if you have a good health despite your overweight and since you're a young men I think you can get through it....also theres no weight limits that prohibits you from getting your med certificate.

Hope this helps.
Rgds.


User currently offlineMTYFREAK From Mexico, joined Apr 2004, 377 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 7015 times:

If your get your medical certificate then go for it,

and once you get hooked that will motivate you to loose weight and then go for a CPL,

If you really want it, get on it.



Only here for the beer...
User currently offlineIlovebeer From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6971 times:

Thanks for the welcome, Gofly

Thanks for the replies, everybody. I was really concerned that my weight was going to be a problem...My next question was going to concern the medical cert. but I have always been in good health other than the weight problem. You've given me some confidence to go check out the schools and see what I can accomplish.. I'm prepared to pay extra for the 172 in order to expedite getting some seat time

N353SK, no offense taken, I asked so I would know what I'm up against and any info/insight is helpful


User currently offlinePU752 From Uruguay, joined Mar 2005, 584 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6855 times:



Quoting Ilovebeer (Reply 8):
Thanks for the replies, everybody. I was really concerned that my weight was going to be a problem...My next question was going to concern the medical cert. but I have always been in good health other than the weight problem. You've given me some confidence to go check out the schools and see what I can accomplish.. I'm prepared to pay extra for the 172 in order to expedite getting some seat time

Sure, you could also start flying with your instructor with the 172 and then when solo use the 152 for your own in order to save some bucks could work too  Wink


User currently offlineSean-SAN- From United States of America, joined Aug 2002, 770 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6778 times:

I'd go to a doctor first and get a complete physical. If you are sure you will pass your 1st class, then go ahead. If not, they lose weight first. Failing a medical exam for the FAA means a lot of trouble and paperwork that will follow you for the rest of your career.

Also, as much as you are motivated to fly, you should really consider the impacts you will have on things like weight & balance, and the comfort of your flight instructor. There are plenty of chubby pilots flying these days, but if you go to get hired people will judge you by your appearance, no matter if people admit it or not.

If you are really passionate about aviation, try to get down to at least 200. Especially considering your height, you'd likely be classified as morbidly obese. I'm not sure I'd hire an airline pilot in that condition.


User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1648 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6686 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting PU752 (Reply 9):
Sure, you could also start flying with your instructor with the 172 and then when solo use the 152 for your own in order to save some bucks could work too

No flight school would let you solo in a C-152 after soloing in a C-172 unless you had a check ride with a flight instructor

He and an instructor will definitely be over gross on a C-152.

Depending on the specific aircraft’s weight and balance, most C-152’s with full fuel and 2 FAA average weight people at 175 pounds leaves about 20 to 30 pounds for baggage.

I have a C-150, an older and lighter one with manual flaps and with 2 people and full fuel I am about 60 pounds under gross weight.

I am 6’3” and 185 pounds and shoulder room is tight when another average size adult is with me, the C-152’s are about 2 to 3 inches wider at the shoulders but that would not be enough at his size.


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5417 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6637 times:

Yeah, add me to the chubby pilot list!

I fly in a C172 without too many problems, as long as you don't want to take too many other people. Personally, I think the C152 is too small anyway ... you're brushing shoulders with the instructor even if you're both average size.

Of course, losing weight is important, as others have said, for numerous reasons.

Medications for cholestorol and blood pressure will probably be OK. If you're taking meds for blood pressure, you'll need an extra EKG exam. Things like sleep apnea can be a pain in the backside also.

Definitely take at least a 3rd class exam, and chat with the examiner about what you 'need to work on'.

The chances of passing a 1st class exam, most definitely become lower the more overweight you become.

Good luck,

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlinePU752 From Uruguay, joined Mar 2005, 584 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6599 times:



Quoting Jetstar (Reply 11):
No flight school would let you solo in a C-152 after soloing in a C-172 unless you had a check ride with a flight instructor

Of course, but a check ride would be really easy when you already have flown a 172, it only changes speeds and weight and balance nothing else that really matters.


User currently offlineType-Rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 5041 posts, RR: 19
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6510 times:

When I was working on my Private in a C-150 I weighed 160lbs at 6'0". Our schools chief pilot weighed 220. On off the things he'd get you on is that if you tried to take a 150 out with you and him and full tanks, he'd bust you on being overgross weight. You'd have to defuel to half tanks before he was satisfied.
I'd like to see the datum for the weight and balance with you and a instructor and full tanks on a C-172. I'm willing to bet it'll be near the forward limits of CG.
And the above poster was correct when he said fail a medical and the FAA will hound you for the rest of your life. It's best to review the requirements, then go see your own private doc and see if you meet them. If you do, then go for the FAA Third Class Medical, which is also a Student Pilots License.



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlineIlovebeer From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6472 times:

Thanks again guys. Looks like I will go to the flight doc and shoot for a 3rd class and work from there. It would kind of be a moot point to go to the school if I can't get a cert. anyway. I have already started my diet/workout routine and so far I'm minus about 10 pounds, with a lot more to go.

User currently offlineRonglimeng From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6412 times:

Maybe you could just go up for a sight-seeing flight at the flight school. If you fit in the right front seat okay, you can fit in the left front seat as well. And you could get a sense of whether they would treat you with respect.


"Thepilot" started a pretty interesting thread here on his own weight loss achievement a few months ago. You might look at it for inspiration.


Self Gloss-80 Pounds Lost In 13 Months (pics) (by Thepilot Oct 15 2007 in Non Aviation)?threadid=1736461&searchid=1736482&s=weight+pilot+pounds#ID1736482


User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days ago) and read 6272 times:



Quoting Ilovebeer (Thread starter):
Hello All,

First off, let me say that I have been lurking on the forum and just joined today so please forgive me if there is a more appropriate section for this.

My question is, I am overweight (At 310 and 5'9") and am very interested in learning to fly. I know that if I ever want to get into the cockpit of an airliner, I need to lose weight, but I am very anxious to start flight school. I am curious as to whether it is a possibility that I will not be able to start flying until I lose weight. I know that the aircraft have weight and balance requirements, but would I be able to get away with training in a C172? Is there a more appropriate aircraft that I can learn in? Or am I out of luck until I shed some poundage?


Jonny

I have a similar problem myself. I'm just under 5'5" so just about every plane I flew, 152, 172, and Piper Cherokee, I needed to move the seat all the way forward to reach the pedals and sit on a booster seat to see over the dashboard. The booster seat at my flight school went missing all the time so when they couldn't find one I couldn't fly. So I feel for you man, but good luck... flying is definitely a unique experience.



"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineCloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 828 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days ago) and read 6205 times:

It's doable. forget all the worries - you are probably not a big as a lot of people here are imagining. I started flying in a 172 - me (little over 300) plus the instructor (about 180). It was tight, but we survived. No way are you going to fit into a 152, and take that as a godsend. I know it will cost a little more, but it's worth it to learn to fly on a better equipped (power wise) plane anyway.

Take a few lessons before getting too worked up for your physical anyway. you don't need that until you solo. I found I was totally unable to cope with the stalls (not to mention ran out of money) so I never pursued it further. Personally I loved flying and planes, I just realized flying just wasn't in the cards for me.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlineDehavalandb From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 67 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6085 times:

Hey, I'm 5'4" and have been flying for quite some time. I have been captain on BE-99, BE-1900 and 30 series learjets. I have never had a problem with my height. I have a couple hundred hours in taildraggers, and I would have to stretch a little, but never had any problems. In fact, the more sophisticated the aircraft the better accommodations the seats and rudder pedals have for short people.


"Common sense is not quite so common" Benjamin Franklin
User currently offlineBablackpilot From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 122 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5955 times:

As long as your able to comply with the 3rd class medical standards listed in the FARs then you will not have a problem at all. The FARs say nothing about height/weight issues so, as long as you pass the other requirements which isn't much at all, then you'll be ok.
As far as finding an instructor, that really shouldn't be a problem because a good instrustor will want to fly with you regardless of your weight because a good instructor isn't doing it for the hours, he's doing it for the love of flying. Or at least we like to believe that. I'm an instructor and I would have no problem flying with you. We wouldn't be flying in a C150/152 but a 172 or better yet, if you can find one, a 182 would probably be your best bet. Even better is if you can find a place that will instruct you in a Commander AC-112 or AC-114. They have the widest cross section of cabin space in it's class.
At a flight school I used to manage, we had a student that was 380+ and with instructor, the plane was probably 150lbs+ over gross. Did the airplane get off the ground and fly.....yes but it climbed very slowly.
Just remember, don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something because of your size. If blind, deaf, and other handicappible people can fly and get licensed, so can you.



My arrogance is only an issue between you and your self-esteem!"
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5893 times:

So have you considered to fly a helicopter instead?

User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6737 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5856 times:



Quoting Alessandro (Reply 21):
So have you considered to fly a helicopter instead?

What? Spending so much on lessons there's no money left for anything else?



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineIlovebeer From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5586 times:



Quoting Alessandro (Reply 21):

Not sure helicopters are where it's at for me

Thanks for the advice and inspiration, everybody. This is one of my dreams I've had since a little kid and the more I look into it, the more it looks like something I can do and will enjoy.

Jonnny


User currently offlineFiatstilojtd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5586 times:

Hi Ilovebeer,

and welcome to airliners.net....when I first read your Thread Title I was thinking about "now JGPH1A wants to learn how to fly after his first jumpseatride"  scratchchin   Wink

fiatstilojtd


25 Skyhawk62507 : My two cents... I'm 5' 11" and 255 lbs. I trained last year in the Evektor Sportstar, a light-sport aircraft that doesn't require a third-class medica
26 Post contains images ATCtower : Welcome to the greatest forum in the world, glad you joined I can assure you there will be NO issues with you going through flight training other than
27 Rwy04LGA : I personally prefer the Archer/Warrior series, but as they have only one door and that being on the RIGHT side of the plane, you'd be better off in th
28 WorkFlyer : A good way to find out if you would be comfortable or not in the cockpit would be to take a trial flight out at a local flying school. Most schools ha
29 Post contains images Bond007 : Also... don't forget, the higher you fly, the less you weigh... just don't expect too much difference in a C172 Jimbo
30 Msl747 : I have the opposie problem. At 260 i'm not exactly light, but at 6' 8" I'm definatly not short! My plan is to go and visit a few different schools and
31 WorkFlyer : At 6'8" you are made for a 172. The seats slide back pretty well so you will have no problems there, you will have great viz out over the engine, hea
32 Post contains images Bond007 : You don't need to be tall for that to happen ... check out my trailing edge flap scars on my forehead All the risks involved with taking a C172 up ar
33 Bok269 : Don't forget getting your fingers sliced off while checking the Aileron actuators.
34 EDICHC : Firstly welcome to A.net! I hope you do manage to both pass your medical and realise your dream. I started at flight school just a few months ago and
35 GeorgiaAME : I am not aware of any weight restriction regarding fleshy fliers being granted certification. However, on the FAA 8500, there is a box I have to chec
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Airplanes In Foo Fighters Video "Learning To Fly" posted Mon Aug 11 2003 22:21:15 by WERNAIR
Learning To Fly Part Two Bad News posted Fri Jan 25 2002 02:52:41 by Usairdc9
Learning To Fly! posted Tue Jan 22 2002 17:33:44 by Usairdc9
Learning To Fly In Perth posted Sat Nov 3 2001 04:36:42 by Cosync
How Was This Guy Able To Fly The Plane? posted Thu Aug 30 2001 05:41:43 by PanAm747
Learning To Fly And Flight Sims posted Wed Aug 29 2001 00:07:17 by EGNV
Learning To Fly In School Next Year? posted Sat Feb 17 2001 06:31:20 by Spreadriven
Learning To Fly posted Fri Jan 12 2001 18:08:06 by DL1011
Learning To Fly posted Tue Nov 9 1999 23:51:52 by Dannyquinn
How FAT Can You Be To Fly? posted Wed Feb 18 2004 21:13:47 by AviatorTJ