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5 Answers

Legal requirement for sitting left seat?

Asked by: 2619 views FAA Regulations, Flight Instructor, General Aviation

Are there any regulations regarding where the PIC sits when not instructing?  This would come into play when flying solo, or with non-pilot passengers.  The reason for me wanting to sit right-seat on these flights is to get more practice flying from that side before and during CFI training.  I have flown and landed from the right seat many times with other pilot's in the left, so I absolutely feel comfortable/safe doing so, I just want to make sure it's all legal.  Thanks.

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5 Answers

  1. Wes Beard on Oct 11, 2012

    There are no legal requirements for a pilot to sit in the left seat. Go and enjoy yourself.

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  2. Bob Watson on Oct 15, 2012

    While there’s no legal requirement, if you are renting, there might be a contractual requirement in that your rental agreement might require that you fly solo from the left seat unless you have some sort of authorization by the FBO.

    Just something no check if you’re renting.

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  3. Bob Watson on Oct 15, 2012

    Something to check…

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  4. Scott Friend on Oct 16, 2012

    Technically, it is not a question of where the PIC sits… as long as there are fully operationally controls available.

    I believe PIC means “Pilot In Command,” while not wise it is not necessarily “Pilot At Controls”

    I’m sure a lot of people have flown with a passenger and offered that they “fly” for a little bit. As long as your are “In Command” it is legal, because you are responsible.

    I just could not imagine that someone could claim to be “In Command” without controls immediately available.

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  5. Will Liebhaber on Oct 23, 2012

    There is no legal requirement for the PIC to occupy a specific pilot seat per the FAA.

    Although not a problem for most general aviation aircraft, some aircraft certifications require the pilot, if solo, to fly from a specific seat. This is due to the layout of controls, switches, valves, etc…

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