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Why Pilots Aren’t Allowed to Have Beards

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Attentive travelers might have noticed that most pilots don’t have beards. Their faces are typically cleanly shaven, or they have some bristles at most.

5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you why pilots aren’t allowed to have beards and what it has to do with an oxygen mask.

Why pilots can’t have beards

This is for passengers’ safety.

Modern commercial planes fly at very high altitudes. So, in order to support the optimal pressure and oxygen levels inside the plane, the cockpits are sealed.

In emergency situations, passengers and pilots have to use oxygen masks in case of depressurization. But if a pilot has a long beard, the mask can’t be close enough to the face. Because of this, there’s a danger of hypoxia when there’s not enough oxygen in the body. This influences brain function and can lead to fainting, so the pilot won’t be able to do their job and stabilize the situation.

If all airlines prohibit beards

Not all airlines follow this rule. For example, Air Canada did a study and found that masks give enough oxygen no matter how long a person’s beard is. In the study, pilots with very short bristles and longer beards took part.

Because of this, Air Canada changed the rules and now allows their pilots to have beards no longer than half an inch (1.25 cm).

If all pilots follow this rule

Simply put, the answer is no. This is mostly enforced in commercial airlines that have certain safety requirements. Private pilots can have any type of beard they want. More than that, if you want to get a pilot license, a beard won’t stop you from getting it.

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