Jump to content

WHY DO CAPTAINS SIT IN THE RIGHT SEAT?


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

just wondering why it is captains/snr pilots sit in the right hand seat, well they do in the uk.

does it really matter? i once got a peak in the cockpit of a super puma and it did look like the right hand side of the cock pit had one or two extra controls.

and one more thing.....if captains do sit in the right seat why is it my CFI sits on the LEFT????

i need to have a lie down!!

 

safe flying

 

si

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which side the PIC sits on is decided by the manufacturer. Some helicopters are right side PIC, some are left side PIC. And your CFI should be sitting in the left seat if you are in a R22. You are learning to become PIC, which is why you sit in the PIC's seat.

Edited by PhotoFlyer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which side the PIC sits on is decided by the manufacturer. Some helicopters are right side PIC, some are left side PIC. And your CFI should be sitting in the left seat if you are in a R22. You are learning to become PIC, which is why you sit in the PIC's seat.

 

 

Thanks photoflyer,

One more thing though,as i'm actually a student with a few hours under my belt would i be allowed say to wear one of those stripey epaulettes i think there called?

i know you get 1,2,3 and 4 in silver or gold colours.

i'm guessing here but 1 could be student 2 ppl holder, 3 commercial and 4 cfi?

no idea about the different colours, i wouldn't put it past you knowing though.

I'd love to get one of those blue jumpers with a gold stipe on each shoulder blade...very professional

 

thanks again for putting me straight.

 

si

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simon,

 

There is no hard and fast rule about epaullettes (particularly in the US). The Europeans are a little more anal about what each stripe means. However, you will still see a variation from company to company. In some places they are even considered pretentious and even the CFIs don't wear them.

 

So ask around where you are studying and see what is the norm. Where I work, there is a ranking for epaulettes, which is adhered to when flying pax, but everybody takes them off as soon as flying duty is over.

 

Also, walking into a pub wearing your stripes is considered pretentious, and not in the least unproffessional.

 

Joker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PIC configuration can also vary depending on the mission (and therefore) the configuration of the particular helicopter. Some are set up with left-seat PIC so that two passengers can be carried and they won't interfere with the collective. Others are set up with a middle-seat PIC position.

 

Epaullettes would be a huge no-no around the flight-school where I've been training. The CFIs and students are pretty casual with jeans and a t-shirt being the norm. (Shorts in the summer.)

 

If you work for a company that requires them as part of a uniform then wear them. Otherwise, let your skills do the talking and try not to talk too much or show off. No matter where you go, there will always be someone with more skill, experience and expertise and you will only embarrass yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also heard that when helicopters were first introduced in North America, they were thought to be so incompatible with a fixed wing world that helicopters had to do right-hand circuits. This would keep them out of the circuits being flown by the airplanes in most cases. In airplanes the PIC sits in the left seat as most circuits are left hand circuits. So early on many North American and early European helicopter designs have the PIC on the right to make those right hand circuits easier.

 

Now ATC just lets us come on in pretty much as we please, since someone finally realized helicopters don't need to fly a traditonal circuit. :rolleyes:

 

As for epaullettes, here in Canada they're only worn in a 2-crew cockpit and even then usually just in EMS and Offshore. Sometimes you'll see someone logging or bucketing in a medium wearing them but not often. Three bars is the FO, 4 bars is the Captain.

Edited by West Coaster
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input guys,

I would never want to walk into a bar/pub wearing pilot gear as that is pretentious and unprofessional, the guys at the school i train at all wear them, and i have to say it does look professional, that said if none of them wore them and flew with jeans and t-shirts on it would'nt make the slightest bit of difference to me as the most important thing is to learn to fly.

would i be correct in saying that pilots in the states/canada are more "laid back" ? I dont mean less professional but more relaxed about certain things. joker touched on it when talking about the wearing of epaullettes.

professional or casual look? either way is fine by me, as stated above...let the flying do the talking. so i'll shut up as i cant fly....YET!

 

Be safe

 

si

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simon,

 

Uniforms and epaullettes have been the topic of many heated debate in the past!

 

I think what it boils down to (generally) is whether the company involves non-flying Joe Public.

 

Joe Public likes to see the bars...given that Joe Public is generally afraid of the sky, I think it makes him feel safe...that he's getting his money's worth. They think...more bars - must be a better pilot just like the ones in the films (like 'airplane' and 'airport77'!)

 

Bob the Builder (utility pilot), who doesn't get seen by anyone other than his ground loading crew and Doreen behind the dispatch desk couldn't care less about the bars and uniform...a flight suit would be much more practical.

 

Maverick, in his US Army Blackhawk, won't be seen by Joe Public either, but a white shirt and black trousers won't look cool with his 'tinted' helmet with eagle painted on it...so he wears a flight suit...and of course bars, because the milititary are obsessed with rank.

 

Goose, in the EMS helicopter, only gets seen by Joe Public whose only thought is getting to hospital, so he doesn't bother with bars. He does wear a flight suit because of all the blood and guts that might splash on him.

 

Now in the UK the situation is different. Seeing as there are only a few flight schools over there, all heavily regulated by the CAA, and the fact that it costs so much to train there...and becuase its cold and the UK is a small place, pilots over there all come out like clones of each other.... A good pair of cotton black trousers, white shirt, blue jumper (with pointless massive elbow and / or shoulder pads) and bars.

 

Joker

 

Added: Where I worked as a CFI, we all wore the same bars (not including chief and assistant chiefs) regardless of hours. This is because students wouldn't then all want the CFI with 4 bars leaving the poor instructor with only 3 bars feeling dejected and the CFI with only 2 bars wanting to jump off a cliff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

joker,

A very well put point, and it does make sense. I am not scared of flying,but have to admit that the 4 bars the instructor wears does make me relax more, it's all in the mind.

thanks as allways for your insight

 

si

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...