Flying Instructors & Examiners A place for instructors to communicate with one another because some of them get a bit tired of the attitude that instructing is the lowest form of aviation, as seems to prevail on some of the other forums!

Left hand seat

Old 22nd May 2020, 08:47
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Wrexham
Posts: 8
Left hand seat

Just out of curiosity, if you’re an instructor & you get to fly solo, would you switch to the left P1 seat, or stay in the right P2 one?

Quite relevant now, as I should imagine there are instructors who are also out of currency & need to do some solo circuits. A couple whom I know say they no longer feel comfortable in the left hand seat
white light is offline  
Old 22nd May 2020, 09:56
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Down at the sharp pointy end, where all the weather is made.
Age: 70
Posts: 1,512
Unless the Pilot Operating Handbook/Flight Manual states otherwise, an aircraft equipped with dual controls certificated or Permitted for flight with one pilot, may be flown from either seat. Some aircraft are more awkward to fly from the right seat, getting to the fuel for instance, but any aircraft used for instruction should have all the controls, including the fuel, accessible from the right side.

It's entirely up to the pilot which seat they use. However, I would guard against flying solo from the right seat if you haven't done any dual from that seat. An instructor, of course, would have done an entire rigorous course of instruction whilst sat in the right seat (or left seat in a helicopter).

Generally, in the PA28 in which I've a four-figure sum of hours from the right seat, I find it more convenient to fly from the right - it's the first seat I happen upon when I get in! However, if I'm instrument flying for a protracted period solo, then I sometimes choose the left seat as it's less tiring and easier to be more accurate flying from the left. I recently flew our PA28 to maintenance and chose the left seat on a whim and found that the seat cushion was really uncomfortable, so that was an item for the menders to fix... I guess the students hadn't complained 'cos they didn't know any better. But I guess that's not what you meant by saying 'no longer comfortable in the left hand seat'.

TOO
TheOddOne is offline  
Old 22nd May 2020, 10:02
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,748
I usually fly solo from the left, occasionally from the right if I want to practice something particular from that seat.

Most aeroplane cockpits are set up to be optimal from the left, and I like to enjoy my solo flying as much as possible, and if - say - practicing instrument flying, I'd massively rather have the 6-pack right in front of me.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 22nd May 2020, 10:46
  #4 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Wrexham
Posts: 8
Thanks for the replies. What I was trying to get at is, as instructors who operate from P2, would you then feel not as competent in the P1 seat, (as you are no longer used to it), so elect to fly solo from P2?

i know that I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable if I ever had to fly from the P2 side, having done all my training so far, (as per normal), in the P1 seat.

Does the reverse apply to instructors?
white light is offline  
Old 22nd May 2020, 10:55
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hotel this week, hotel next week, home whenever...
Posts: 1,350
I used to fly from the right.... purely because that was usually the closest door and I’m lazy!!!
Duchess_Driver is online now  
Old 22nd May 2020, 13:34
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 24
on my IMC renewal i landed it from the left , wasnt pretty! not sure if i would need solo circuits, students arent passengers.
shorehamite is offline  
Old 22nd May 2020, 16:24
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: At Home
Posts: 1
I flew last Tuesday, for the first time in nearly two months. I chose to fly from the left-hand seat to keep my hand in. I also do this when I take an aircraft for maintenance. I do find flying from the right seat much easier due to having flown many more hours in that seat.
Edward Hawkins is offline  
Old 23rd May 2020, 08:52
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 915
This is the farce we have going on at our field. Airport want us flying school to give them a safety plan of how we are going to get back to flying, yet private owners can now just jump in and go. I know a few who would like to fly with an instructor first but can't. This lay off is no different to a really bad winter.
I fly from either seat, left seat flying does make you think a little more as muscle memory not use to being in the left seat.
It's good to remind yourself what your student sees from that seat, some gauges are hard to read clearly from the left seat.
Also opportunity to check controls like brakes, which can vary from left and right side.
Perhaps i should be more conscientious when i go solo to fuel bay to taxi from the left seat, to check things out.
BigEndBob is offline  
Old 23rd May 2020, 16:28
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: West Coast Canada
Posts: 3,666
Depending on whether I am teaching or examining I will fly from either seat and frankly find I don't really notice any difference. Personally I like stick/wheel in my right hand and throttle in my left so if given a choice I will take the right seat,
Big Pistons Forever is offline  
Old 23rd May 2020, 17:04
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: A place in the sun
Age: 78
Posts: 841
Big Pistons Forever,

I agree. Having had many years of airline instruction, I hardly noticed the difference - either seat would do!
Bergerie1 is offline  
Old 23rd May 2020, 18:26
  #11 (permalink)  
Educated Hillbilly
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: From the Hills
Posts: 832
I will normally fly solo from the right hand side when I need to do a solo flight (quite rarely to be fair these days), though probably not a PA28 purely for the reason the fuel selector switch is extremely difficult to reach from the right seat.

I found the initial transition for 3 or 4 hours to the right hand seat on the FI course was quite strange, but I never had had any issue switching back to the left seat for IR renewals and such forth.
portsharbourflyer is offline  
Old 25th May 2020, 12:16
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: near an airplane
Posts: 1,501
I've got way more hours in the right seat than in the left seat but will happily switch to whatever seat works for that particular flight. So when solo: left seat as that is the one normally used for that task. I know several instructors who are uncomfortable when in the left seat, but I see it as a part of your skillset to be able to fly from either seat and will take any opportunity to practice this.
Jhieminga is online now  
Old 2nd Jun 2020, 20:47
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: N . Daarset
Age: 67
Posts: 182
Whilst training when in the airlines , would often be am in RH seat and pm in LH seat , and going from a 75 to a 76 . No probs .
11 years retired and instructing , most flights in RH seat . And when 't 'Boi comes home and we fly in share 'o plane together , he hogs LH seat . So when I rarely get to LH seat , it is a bit strange .. And like B.E.B. I try to jump in LH seat for taxi jobs .

rgds condor .

condor17 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.