FLYING Magazine

Question: Why do helicopter pilots tend to sit on the right as opposed to the left seat, as in airplanes?

Answer: Traditionally, helicopter pilots sit on the right primarily because the cyclic stick, which controls the main rotor, is held in the right hand. Manipulation of the cyclic changes the helicopter’s direction of movement along the lateral axis—forward, back, side to side. The cyclic stick is usually between the pilot’s legs and requires a light touch because helicopters are more unstable than airplanes. Helicopter pilots often fly with their right wrist resting on their leg and two fingers on the cyclic stick.

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Their left hand is used to control the collective lever that is normally located on the left side of the pilot’s seat. The collective lever is used to change the pitch angle of all the main rotor blades, which changes the amount of lift they produce, resulting in a climb or descent.

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The post Why Do Helicopter Pilots Sit on the Right Side of the Cockpit? appeared first on FLYING Magazine.

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