Pilots Had Filed Suit In Federal Court Against The Restriction
Citing higher fuel and other operating costs, the U.S. Army recently put a policy in place that civilian instructor pilots at its Fort Rucker helicopter training facility in southeast AL, could weigh no more than 250 pounds ... and some of the instructors cried "foul."
But a federal judge threw out a lawsuit filed by Professional Helicopter Pilots Association Local 102 and six Fort Rucker instructors, and the rule went into effect Monday.
The instructors all are employed by URS Federal Support Services, which was not named in the lawsuit.
The weight limit includes the pilot's weight plus flight suit and boots, and is in place for certain types of aircraft and simulators. The website AL.com relays a story from The Washington Post which indicates that pilots who tip the scale at over 250 pounds fully kitted out will be placed on paid leave. Those who do not have any leave accrued will be placed on unpaid leave and keep their seniority for two years. But they will not fly for the Army until they are under the weight limit.
The weight limit was included in a contract between the Army and URS that became effective on the first of October last year, but the company's pilots were given six months to reach compliance with the weight limit. The deadline was April 1.