Sign in to follow this  
Guest philom

Stupid Aviation Question

Recommended Posts

Why do fixed wing pilots sit on the right (if you're facing the aircraft from the outside)and helicopter pilots sit on the opposite side?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Habits....years and years of habits. These standards were set long before WWII.Fixed wing aircraft have developed so that the primary pilot's right hand can be used for detailed tasks while the less dominate hand is used to less detailed tasks such as holding the controls. Most people are right handed.I will tell you from my experience that flying in FS with a joystick in the left hand lets me do other things much easier - thought it is a learning curve.However helicopters require constant control on the cyclic - which is naturally placed on the centerline. Again allowing the less dominant hand to have that fulltime activity, and the right hand for other tasks would be easier.But like automobiles, none of these practices developed after careful studies of ergonomics - but through the school of hard knocks.Some of the best designed aircraft from an ergonomic standpoint are military single seat fighters, and they are almost always setup with the throttles on the left, and much of the cockpit configured to more closely reflect the cockpit from the copilot side of a side by side aircraft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,I've heard the other reason pilots sit on the left (looking out the window) is because most airport traffic patterns are left turns and this makes it easier to see the runway.Hope this helps,--Tom GibsonCal Classic Propliner Page: http://www.calclassic.comFreeflight Design Shop: http://www.freeflightdesign.comDrop by! ___x_x_(")_x_x___

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tom,I think the left turns in the traffic pattern came about because the pilot is on the left side (at least that's what I was taught when doing my private theory :) ).Bruce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this