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Why does the pilot on an airplane sit in the left seat, but on a helicopter the pilot sits in the right seat?

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katamarino
Registered: 31-03-2016
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Nov. 28, 2016 22:03:04

why there is this difference between airplane and Helicopter?

BA0020
Registered: 2014-04-05
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#2 Nov. 28, 2016 23:00:08

Hello All,
I think that in Russian helicopters a captain also sits on the left side. Only in western helis the pilot is on the right. But why? I don't know..

L159
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#3 Nov. 29, 2016 22:09:03

Hi Katamarino.

The reason is mostly historical, though there can be some operational advantage and because most people are right handed.

In fact, an airplane pilot sits left side so his right hand controls the throttle levers, landing gear and flap levers and more, with left hand on the stick or wheel.

Since most helicopters are more inherently unstable than most airplanes, a helicopter pilot rarely likes to let go of the cyclic stick with his or her right hand, even with trim, and particularly in hover operations where near-continuous control inputs are required. (The cyclic controls the helicopter’s attitude and direction of movement, almost like a combined elevator and aileron for an airplane.)

In steady flight, the left hand that normally moves the collective lever is sometimes free to push buttons or twiddle instrument knobs that are usually on a center console in a cabin with a side-by-side crew arrangement. Rotor brakes and clutches are also usually centrally located for the same reason.