What is the maximum allowed body weight for a new commercial pilot student?

Would someone weighing 130kg be rejected on the basis of health? If so, what should that person weigh to avoid the rejection?

I have read about regulations mentioning 75 kg + 10 kg for flight crews, but I doubt if all pilots fall under that category because I have seen many pilots who look heavier than that. But I need some professional advice on this regarding current commercial aviation.

I'm interested in rules in India, Canada and the USA.


1 Answer 1


In the US there's no specific weight limit in the regulations. Instead, they just say that you must be capable of performing the duties of a pilot, e.g. 14 CFR 61.113:

The general medical standards for a first-class airman medical certificate are:


(b) No other organic, functional, or structural disease, defect, or limitation that the Federal Air Surgeon, based on the case history and appropriate, qualified medical judgment relating to the condition involved, finds—

(1) Makes the person unable to safely perform the duties or exercise the privileges of the airman certificate applied for or held; or

(2) May reasonably be expected, for the maximum duration of the airman medical certificate applied for or held, to make the person unable to perform those duties or exercise those privileges.

But the FAA is concerned about some conditions that are strongly linked with obesity, like heart disease, diabetes or sleep apnea. Those could be an issue for getting a medical certificate.

Apart from the regulations, there may be some practical weight limits for other reasons:

  • Military pilots have much stricter medical requirements (I know you're asking about commercial pilots), partly because they have some special considerations
  • A very large pilot may be physically unable to fit into some cockpits and/or move the controls to their limits
  • A very heavy pilot may be too heavy to fly in some smaller aircraft (including training aircraft) because of weight and balance limitations
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ in the 727 at least, a big or tall pilot makes the flight extremely uncomfortable for the occupant of the front jumpseat. :D I speak from experience. $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Aug 13, 2018 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ Some aircraft have, manufacturer imposed, weight limitations for occupants of some or all seats. Usually this is for the purpose of crash worthiness. $\endgroup$
    – Walker
    Aug 13, 2018 at 17:56

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