right seat flying

aero99

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In GA, can you fly in the right seat as pic . And if so, can a passenger sit in the left seat without the right seat pic being a CFI as long as instruction isn't being given?


i re-read what I posted and it didn't make sense. sorry, I think it's clearer now.
 
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Andy Neill

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One of my rules in life has been "If you can explain it to the accident board, it's OK."

How would you answer their question, "Why did you sit in the right seat with limited access to controls, guages, switches instead of the left?"

If you can answer that question (following a precautionary landing due to an electrical fire for instance), you should have no problem. I don't think I could.
 

aero99

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Well, here is the real reason, so you tell me if you think it would fly:

Flying a piper (so only door is at the right door). I was going to fly a kid around the pattern (8 years old) and my reasoning is that if something does happen and we have to ditch, I would rather be on the door side to better be able to exit (with the kid)the aircraft in case of a door jam on inpact.

I know that's probably thinking too far ahead about something that could never happen, but it has come across my mind as to if thats a decision I can make as PIC as to the saftey of my passenger without getting busted on the ramp when they see an 8year old sitting in the left seat.
 

Andy Neill

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In the scenario you describe, I think it would be MUCH more likely to have a mishap caused by altered perspective (I presume you have not spent a lot of time operating an aircraft from the right seat) and reduced control access than by having egress affected by the 8-year old IF you were to have to evacuate.

I think you are legal to do it but I wouldn't put you down for high marks in judgement if you did.
 

want2fly

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The answer to your question is yes you can legally fly in the right seat as PIC. There is nothing in the regulations that say otherwise. Something to consider though is that insurance may not cover anything that were to happen while you were in the right seat if you are not a CFI. I know that this is the way it worked at the flight school where I used to fly.
 

skydrillr

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Get checked out on the right side first. I agree with the previous poster. You just can't jump in the right seat and fly like you do in the left. The perspective is totally different - especially on landing.

I wouldn't try it by yourself either. Have a CFI in the left seat.

Good luck,
Traci
 

avbug

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This depends on the aircraft. However, unless specifically limited to flight from the left seat for a particular make and model (or front/aft in the case of a tandem arrangement), you may fly from either seat.

Note that your pilot certificate doesn't restrict you to left seat operations.

You will find that some aircraft are restricted in terms of equipment or accessories on one side of the aircraft. Many piper twins, for example, don't have brakes on the right side. Some aircraft may utilize flight controls on one side only, by design or by alteration. Instrumentation may be difficult to read due to parralax (reading looks different when viewed from an angle), and some instrumentation may not be readable at all. Further, you may end up working different controls such as power, flaps, gear, etc, with a different hand that you are used to. This can lead to some level of confusion during rushed times; not good during a landing or go around.

As was indicated before, the view is a little different, but this is the least of your worries. It's a very easy transition, and while you can get someone to go with you, it isn't absolutely necessary. You may find that due to insurance requirements, getting someone to "check you out" for the right seat may be difficult when renting. (Some insurance policies will specify that the person in the left seat will be the PIC, and the insurance companies are often the final and bottom line, far beyond the limitations imposed by the FAA). With respect to getting checked out, each single seat airplane I've flown involved a checkout on the wing; I was given a cockpit familiarization before flying, but that was it. First flight is first solo in that airplane, period. So yes, you can do it alone...but consider your limitations, your experience, the airplane, the conditions, the insurance, the owner, and any other applicable factors before you do so.

Yes, it's legal. If your concern is being able to get out after a crash, vs. being able to fully handle the airplane comfortably and safely, examine those priorities once more before making this decision. Good luck!!
 

banned username 2

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Correct me if I am wrong, doesn't the left window on the Pipers pop-out as an emergency exit? It has been a while since I have been in the Warrior or Seminiole I used to fly, but if my memory serves me correctly, the left window had a handle that basically totally removed the window for egress....

I agree completely with the other posters, make sure if you were to do this you get checked out in the right seat. I used to teach new CFI candidates and it usually took them a few hours in the right seat before they started to feel comfortable.... Their first few landings from the right seat were always "interesting" to say the least!

If I were in your shoes, I would stick the little fella in the right seat, take him up and show him the joys of flying (let him try "steering" too, if you are comfortable with that). Don't worry about an emergency egress, odds are if you do a good preflight, your machine is well maintained and you are a cautious pilot, it won't be an issue. I think if you are not 100% comfortable in the right seat, you are merely raising the chance of something going amiss due to your altered perspective from the right seat.

Fly Safe!

Falcon Capt.
 

skydiverdriver

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I don't know about the switch and control positions on your particular aircraft, but as far as the regs are concerned, you can fly as pic from either seat. You can also act as pic from the front or rear seat in a tandem seat aircraft, and even act as pic from the cockpit jumpseat in certain 121 operations. (see 121.434). Which seat you occupy makes no difference as far as who is pic is concerned. Most helicopters have the pic in the right seat, and every aircraft is different. Hope this helps you.
 

Jeff Russell

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I fly alot from the right seat since I am currently in training for my CFI. The only requirement for a non-pilot to sit in the left seat with me.....

In a P28A or P28R, I instruct them on the operation of the fuel selector. From the right seat the fuel selector is hard to reach!

Jeff
Commercial, ASEL Instrument
ATC, Atlanta ARTCC
 

Floyd94

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When I was in flight school, I went through trainning with a partner. When we were working on our commercial tickets, we would both fly and log it as PIC. How you ask? One would wear some sort of view limiting device and the guy in the right seat would fly visually. Now we could only do this in VFR conditions. If it were IMC, then only one of us would log the flight as PIC. Just my 2 cents..
 

avbug

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Floyd,

This is a well known and widely accepted practice, allowable under the FAR. 91.109(b)(1) sets the requirement for a safety pilot, and 61.51(e)(1)(iii) provides the legal basis allowing a safety pilot who is acting as pilot in command to log the time as PIC. The pilot wearing the view limiting device may log the time as PIC while acting as sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which he or she is rated, in accordance with 61.51(e)(1)(i).

HOWEVER, the safety pilot must be the pilot in command, designated as such. The safety pilot is not simpy able to log pilot-in-command time, unless he or she is the acting PIC.

This practice is acceptable to a point. Logging excessive time in an airplane not certificated for more than one crew member tends to make one's logbook look bad; it appears padded, and doesn't pass the "smell" test.

I should also add that entering instrument conditions doesn't change the applicability of this practice. That is, one may continue to log the time weather one is in instrument conditions or not, so long as the person manipulating the controls is wearing a view limiting device, or is in simulated conditions. What exists outside the aircraft is immaterial; the safety pilot is still required in the clouds if the pilot flying is flying because of restricted (simulated) vision. This applies if the aircraft is in VMC, or instrument conditions.
 
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Floyd94

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Its all about how you read the regs. I've done it and I know numerous others who have done it and we all have landed jobs at some of the top regionals. Wether it "smells" right or not I guess is up to the interviewer. Aparently it dosen't "smell" to bad...

Also, entering IMC does infact change the way this works. What good is a safety pilot in full IMC?
 

Simon Says

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Check your POM. (pilot operating manual) If my memory serves me correctly the C-172 reccommends flying from the left seat, but I have never seen anything written about it in any piper manuals.
 

avbug

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Entering instrument conditions does not change the fact that a flight operated under simulated instrument conditions, is still being conducted under simulated instrument conditions. It does change the requirements for the pilot in command, and the rules under which the flight is operated (if operated outside Class G airspace). However, it is still simulated instrument flight for the pilot manipulating the controls. The requirement for a safety pilot under 91.109(b)(1) is not abated, nor is the requirement to see and avoid.

Read the regulation.

With respect to the "smell" test, a small amount of time logged in this manner is considered acceptable, and it's common while working toward the commercial pilot certificate. However, a pilot who has logged an excessive amount of time in this manner will appear to have padded his or her logbook; a logical and correct assumption.

This is particularly the case when considering higher levels of employment, which specifically exclude any time when not the actual pilot in command, designated before the flight. In the case of a safety pilot, the ability of the safety pilot to log the time as PIC is a mere technicality. Upper levels of employment are concerned with what you've actually done, not what you've done under a technicality.

You'll note that no matter how much experience you have, or how many ratings you hold, or how qualified you are in the airplane, under FAR 121 and 135, the designated PIC remains so during the entire course of the flight. The person who "signed" for the airplane is the pilot in command, with very solid backing of the FAR, the aircraft certification, and the certificate holders ATCO and OPspecs manuals. With this in mind, there is little correlation between technical logging of time to pad one's logbook, and being rightfully in charge of an aircraft as PIC. Further, the logging of PIC while acting as safety pilot is considered acceptable in small amounts for meeting early certification, but considering that in most cases the "safety pilot" is attempting to act as PIC in an aircraft requiring crewmembers only under technicality, the appearance is that of inpropriety when the logging is done in abundance.
 

PanAm24

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cross-country

Some have said a safety pilot may not log cross-country time on a x-c flight, although he may log PIC. I have not found any regs that support this. Can anyone support or deny this?
 

avbug

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Panam,

A safety pilot may log cross country time, if the time has been accordance with the various provisions of FAR 61.1(b)(3) for which the time is being logged. Specifically, for generally logging a cross country flight as cross country, there is no requirement under 61.1(b)(3)(i) for the person logging the time to be pilot in command, or sole manipulator.

A safety pilot is a required crewmember in accordance with 14 CFR 91.109(b)(1), and may log night time, instrument time, and cross country time even if not acting as PIC, or sole manipulator of the controls.

On a cross country flight, just as instrument conditions and night, it's not a matter of "who" gets to log the flight. Everyone logs that time, if acting as a required crewmember. It has nothing to do with assignment (PIC vs. SIC), or manipulation of the controls. It's cross country, period.
 
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