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AIR MINISTRY PAMPHLET 15 — Appendix 1 —1946


 

Appendix I
to
A.M. Pamphlet 15
(17th Edition)

STANDARDS OF PHYSICAL FITNESS FOR AIRCRAFT APPRENTICES

1. The official medical examination is necessarily strict. A CANDIDATE'S PARENT OR GUARDIAN IS STRONGLY ADVISED, THEREFORE, TO HAVE HIM EXAMINED BY A DOCTOR, IN THE LIGHT OF THE STANDARDS SET OUT BELOW, PRIOR TO HIS BECOMING A CANDIDATE FOR ENTRY. It must be clearly understood, however, that the fact that a boy has been examined locally (whether by a private doctor or by the medical officer of a local education authority, where an authority undertakes a preliminary medical test) and found fit, does not constitute a ground for any claim against the Air Council if a boy is rejected at the Royal Air Force medical examination.

2. Special attention should be paid to defects of the feet, eyes (e.g. squint and chronic inflammation of the lids or eyeball), ears, throat (particularly septic or enlarged tonsils : but see para. 5 below), teeth and general physique; these have been found to be frequent causes of rejection of candidates.

The following is an outline of the standards of physical fitness demanded.

3.

(a)

The boy must be free from any disease or physical defect calculated to render him unfit for his duties in the Royal Air Force.

 

(b)

He must be fit, and likely to continue fit, to serve abroad in any climate under active service conditions.

 

(c)

He must not suffer from any of the following defects :—

 

 

(i)

Fits, chronic bronchitis or winter cough.

 

 

(ii)

A weak constitution, evidence of tuberculous disease, etc.

 

 

(iii)

Contraction or deformity of chest, joints or spine.

 

 

(iv)

Disease of the heart or lungs.

 

 

(v)

Severe varicose veins or haemorrhoids.

 

 

(vi)

Hernia.

 

 

(vii)

Undescended testicle if in the canal or at the external abdominal ring.

 

 

(viii)

Discharge from or disease of either ear.

 

 

(ix)

Enlarged glands.

 

 

(x)

Defective eyesight, hearing or teeth (see paras. 4, 5 and 6 for standards).

 

 

(xi)

Kidney disease (see para. 9).

 

 

(xii)

Vocal impediment, e.g. marked stammering.

 

 

(xiii)

Flat foot (see para. 8).

 

(d)

A personal history of acute rheumatic fever, more than one attack of unconsciousness, bedwetting or asthma will require careful consideration at the time of the medical examination.

4. Standard of Vision. — The boy will be placed with his back to the light, and his visual acuity will be tested by means of test types placed in a good light at a distance from him of twenty feet. Each eye will be tested separately, with the eyelids normally open, according to the following standards :—

 

(a)

If he can read 6/24 or better, with each eye without glasses at the above distance, both correctable to 6/9, he will be considered fit.

 

(b)

A boy whose vision requires him to wear glasses will not necessarily be rejected if otherwise fit, but his vision without glasses must be within the standard required by clause (a) above.

 

(c)

Each eye must have a full field of vision as tested by hand movement.

 

(d)

Visual acuity below 6/12 in either eye will debar an applicant from selection as airman pilot.

 

(e)

Defective colour vision is not a cause for rejection, but it will debar the applicant, if accepted, from certain trades {e.g. radio mechanic and fitter armourer) or as an airman pilot, and, in consequence, from obtaining a commission in the General Duties Branch.

5. Standard of Hearing. — The boy should be able to hear a forced whisper at twenty feet with either ear, the other being blocked. He should stand sideways, the ear under examination being the one nearer the examiner.

6. Teeth. — Nine deficient or nine defective teeth which cannot be rendered serviceable by treatment will usually disqualify. The following is the method used to determine a candidate's dental condition :—

 

      If a prospective candidate has not had any permanent teeth extracted, he should have 14 teeth in each jaw or a total of 28 teeth. In addition he will have four wisdom teeth which usually have not appeared at this age (unerupted).

 

      Assuming that the teeth of each jaw bite correctly, the, method of assessing the bite value is by a system of points.

 

      Each of the first five teeth on either side of the centre of the jaw, if biting correctly with its opposing tooth in the other jaw, is valued at 1 point, or 10 points in all.

 

      Each of the two molars (grinders) on either side, if biting correctly with its opposing tooth in the other jaw, is valued at 2 points, or 8 points in all.

 

      A credit of 1 point for each pair of wisdom teeth (on one side of the mouth) will be allowed or 2 points in all. The number of points possible is therefore :—

 

10 + 8 + 2 = 20 points.

 

The minimum standard required for a candidate is 11 points (i.e. actual biting points).

 

      Special consideration may be given to a candidate who has nine, but not more than eleven teeth deficient provided that —

 

(a)

the remaining teeth are healthy and free from decay or have been rendered so by treatment, or

(b)

the candidate is wearing a well-fitting permanent denture or dentures of a total of not more than eleven teeth. (A permanent denture is one which has been fitted not less than three months after extractions.)
    In these circumstances a dental chart (supplied by a dentist) should be submitted to the Air Ministry in advance.

7. Tonsils. — Enlarged and septic tonsils which, however, are not associated with definite disabling symptoms at the time of examination, are not necessarily a bar to acceptance provided that the parents or guardians, prior to acceptance, give their permission in writing for operation, should this become necessary.

8. Flat foot. — This is not a cause for rejection provided the joints of the tarsus are flexible and the arch of the foot reappears when the candidate is in the knee-bending position. It is a cause for rejection if the foot is everted and the tarsal joints are stiff.

9. Urine. — Albuminuria is of frequent occurrence during adolescence and, though usually functional in origin and of no significance, is sometimes due to kidney disease. When albuminuria is found, therefore, a certificate should be obtained from the doctor to the effect that it is functional or "adolescent" in character, and is not due to disease. This certificate should be handed by the boy to the medical officer at the R.A.F. medical examination.

10. Vaccination. — The candidate need not have been vaccinated before acceptance, but parents or guardians are required to agree to candidates undergoing vaccination, re-vaccination, inoculation and/or immunisation as may be considered necessary in the interests of the health of the Service.



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