So much as i am aware, in a resolved wing aircraft having actually side-by-side seating and double controls however only a single set of instruments, those tools are always positioned in front of the left seat. Also when an plane (such together commercial air transport) is equipment with twin instruments, the left chair is designated as the "pilot-in-command" or "captain"s" position. This "left-seat as principal" designation shows up to host true for any type of fixed wing plane from a Cessna 152 come a Boeing 747, in all jurisdictions that manufacture and also operation.

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For a helicopter, the situation shows up to it is in reversed - the "pilot in command" shows up to constantly occupy the appropriate seat.

Is this true, always, or is it an observational bias? Is this merely convention or is it stated by regulation? What would account for exceptions, if any?

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The reason is both historical and operational.

The first mass created helicopter was the Sikorsky R-4. It had a solitary collective located between the two pilot seats, for this reason by necessity, the person on the ideal would regulate the cyclic with their right hand, and also the human being on the left would manage the cyclic v their left (because their appropriate is required on the collective). The cyclic in the R-4 to be very daunting to manipulate and required a the majority of strength and coordination. Since the vast bulk of college student helicopter pilots were ideal handed, they sat in the best seat, enabling them to use their dominant hand top top the cyclic. Thus, the first generation of helicopter pilots all satellite in the ideal seat, since they every learned top top the R-4 (or the R-6). That"s just how traditions begin.

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The to work applications of sitting in the appropriate seat relate come the natural instability the a helicopter. A helicopter pilot rarely wants to let go of the cyclic, together it regularly requires consistent control inputs, particularly when hovering. The collective, top top the other hand, does not must be monitored together closely and can be hosted steady v a friction adjustment, so that hand is occasionally free to manipulate things prefer radios and also other equipment, i beg your pardon are situated in the facility of the cockpit.

Most helicopters these days have a collective for each seat, situated on the left, so the pilot wants to use the hand in the center of the cockpit to work-related the radios and also things. Hence, they sit top top the right side, which locations the collective hand in the middle of the cockpit.

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