“It was an enormous effort,” said Jennifer Whitestone, a biomedical engineer in the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, also at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. “For each USAF aircraft, subjects of specific body sizes were measured against performance requirements for that particular aircraft.”
Whitestone explained that these anthropometric dimensions were mapped to the ability to perform the required tasks, which are called accommodation envelopes.
“The anthropometric accommodation envelopes for each aircraft are captured in WebPASS,” said Whitestone. “All prospective candidates measurements are put into this web-based software and the aircraft that they are able to safely operate are indicated.”
Waiver packages are then coordinated through a partnership between the AETC surgeon general and 19th Air Force officials, who are responsible for all of the Air Force’s initial flying training.
This waiver process is not new, but AETC officials want to ensure those who dream of flying for the USAF have all the facts and do not self-eliminate because they think they are too tall or too short.
The U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine is an internationally renowned center for aerospace medical learning, consultation, aerospace medical investigations and aircrew health assessments. For more information about USAFSAM, visit
https://www.wpafb.af.mil/afrl/711hpw/USAFSAM/. For more information about the Air Force Research Laboratory and its 711th Human Performance Wing, visit