“A Dark and Stormy Morning" UCAP465

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jarheadpilot82
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:13 pm

“A Dark and Stormy Morning" UCAP465

Postby jarheadpilot82 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:10 am

Gentlemen,

First of all I hope that all of you had a very Merry Christmas. Second of all I wanted to add to the discussion as to why the pilot sits in the right seat of a helicopter.

Jack, you suggested several compelling reasons as to why this is so. However, none of your thoughts are correct. At least as I understand things. I went through Navy helicopter training over 35 years ago, and flew Hueys on active duty and in the Marine Corps Reserves for almost 9 years. I had always been told that in the early days of helicopters when weight was especially critical due to under powered engines, pilots usually flew alone, without another pilot, or crew chief. For example, you may recall seeing helicopters flying in to the landing pad on the TV show “MASH”, set during the Korean War, carrying wounded soldiers. They always flew with just a pilot.The earliest tail rotors were on the right side of the tail boom. So, in order for a pilot to be able to clear his tail from trees and terrain as he flew into a landing zone, he had to be able to look out the right door and right side of the helicopter for safety reasons. That is why The helicopter aircraft commander (or “HAC”) traditionally sits in the right seat.

I hope that my answer adds to the discussion. As always, I love the podcast, and look forward to hearing more of you gentlemen in 2019 and beyond. Happy New Year!
Semper Fi,

Terry Hand
Athens, GA

DJTorrente
Posts: 190
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:04 pm

Re: “A Dark and Stormy Morning" UCAP465

Postby DJTorrente » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:48 pm

Thanks for that, captain! I'd read it also traces back to Sikorsky himself in the helicopter's infancy. That is mentioned in this piece: [Air & Space Mag] Why do helicopter pilots sit in the right seat?
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