Air Force Scraps Pilot Height Rule

It's a 'huge win' for women, official says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2020 2:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – Would-be aviators no longer need to worry about being too short or too tall for the Air Force. Officials say the Air Force height requirement has been scrapped and applicants will now go through an "anthropometric screening process" to determine what aircraft they can safely fly, CBS reports. Under the previous regulations, applicants shorter than 5'4" or taller than 6'5" when standing, or 34 inches to 40 inches while sitting, had to obtain waivers. The Air Force says almost 90% of waivers were granted, but the height requirement still discouraged many applicants, especially women. Those who obtained waivers include former Dallas Cowboy Chad Hennings, who is 6'6" but could still fly an A-10 Warthog.

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The Air Force, which is facing a 2,000-airman shortfall, says the previous height requirement disqualified around 44% of American women. "We’re really focused on identifying and eliminating barriers to serve in the Air Force,” said Gwendolyn DeFilippi, assistant deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, per Air Force Times. "This is a huge win, especially for women and minorities of smaller stature who previously may have assumed they weren’t qualified to join our team." (Read more Air Force stories.)

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