Real Answers from Real Pilots

Weight restriction?

(Xavier Piar) #1

Hi, let me explain my little story. Ive been working for my PPL privately at a flying club close to me, have 55 hrs but not done the test yet. I have faced every possible obstacle to get to flight school! and I am getting tired. I tried ATP a year ago but couldn’t secure a loan. My instructor whom is a senior captain for American Airlines (#8 on their list btw) recommended me to the american airlines cadet program, got all the way to fort worth for the final interview and I didn’t get in (another kick in the pants) now I finally have co-signer with perfect credit which makes me confident I’ll get the loan! I was celebrating…but now I find out I am 30 pounds over the weight limit ATP has! are you friggin kidding me…why is this a thing? I am flying in PA-140’s which probably is the smallest training aircraft. I am not saying I am not willing to lose the weight or that…but why can’t I start training? I don’t wanna keep waiting, I am tired of fighting to get training. I thought I finally had it!! I want to go to ATP cause a friend of mine did and is flying airlines now. isn’t there a way around this?

(Tory) #2


I understand you are frustrated. As ATP’s website states, this weight restriction is due to aircraft operational limitations. ATP requires their aircraft to depart with full tanks. If you consider the worst case scenario, both student and instructor weighing 250lbs, full tanks, the aircraft would be right on the edge of it’s W&B limitations.




No we’re not kidding you and Tory explained “why it’s a thing”. The way “around” this is to lose the weight or find another flight school.

You also might want to keep in mind if you’re 30lbs overweight it can be a problem obtaining your First Class medical. I doubt it would be now but trust me the older you get the harder it gets to lose weight. I know more than a few pilots who are out on medical because of their weight which led to sleep apnea. Regardless of where you train I’d try and get my weight in check now.




I believe the weight restriction also has something to do with being within the utility category for weight and balance purposes as this will be necessary for doing your spin training.


(Peter Banning) #5

I think Chris’ answer is spot on here. There is a gentleman in Dallas who spent several weeks waiting due to being unable to get his spin endorsement done because of his weight. If you can’t spin, you can’t be endorsed for your CFI checkride.