Flight Redemptions

What is RHS in Aviation? (Right Hand Seat)

Updated: March 08, 2024

Understanding the Right Hand Seat in Aviation

Aviation is a complex and fascinating field, filled with unique terms and concepts that can be overwhelming to newcomers. One such term is the right hand seat, often referred to as RHS. In this article, we will delve into the meaning and significance of the right hand seat in aviation, exploring its role, responsibilities, and importance in the cockpit.

The Role of the Right Hand Seat

The right hand seat, as the name suggests, refers to the seat on the right side of the cockpit in an aircraft. It is typically occupied by the first officer or co-pilot, while the left hand seat is occupied by the captain or pilot-in-command. The right hand seat plays a crucial role in assisting the captain and sharing the responsibilities of operating the aircraft.

One of the primary responsibilities of the right hand seat is to support the captain in the safe operation of the aircraft. This includes monitoring instruments, communicating with air traffic control, and following the captain's instructions. The co-pilot also assists in conducting pre-flight checks, managing the aircraft's systems, and preparing for emergency situations.

The right hand seat is not just a position of support, but a vital part of the flight crew. In some cases, the co-pilot may take over the controls of the aircraft, especially during critical phases of flight such as takeoff and landing. This ensures that there is always a pilot in command who can take immediate action if needed, enhancing the safety of the flight.

The Importance of the Right Hand Seat

The right hand seat holds significant importance in aviation for several reasons. Firstly, it provides a crucial backup to the captain, allowing for effective teamwork and collaboration in the cockpit. The co-pilot's presence ensures that tasks can be divided, reducing the workload on the captain and enabling them to focus on critical decision-making.

Secondly, the right hand seat serves as a training ground for aspiring pilots. Many co-pilots use this position as an opportunity to gain valuable experience and hours of flying time, working their way towards becoming a captain themselves. The right hand seat provides a hands-on learning environment where co-pilots can observe and learn from experienced captains, honing their skills and knowledge.

Furthermore, the right hand seat acts as a safety net during emergencies. In the event of an incapacitated captain, the co-pilot can take immediate control of the aircraft and ensure the safety of the passengers and crew. This highlights the vital role of the right hand seat in maintaining the highest levels of safety and preparedness in aviation.

Training and Qualifications for the Right Hand Seat

Becoming a co-pilot and occupying the right hand seat in an aircraft requires rigorous training and qualifications. The specific requirements may vary depending on the country and the type of aircraft, but there are general guidelines that aspiring co-pilots must meet.

To qualify for the right hand seat, individuals must obtain a commercial pilot license (CPL) or an airline transport pilot license (ATPL). These licenses involve extensive flight training, theoretical knowledge exams, and a minimum number of flight hours. Additionally, co-pilots must undergo type rating training for the specific aircraft they will be operating.

Alongside the technical qualifications, co-pilots must possess strong communication skills, teamwork abilities, and a thorough understanding of aviation regulations and procedures. They must also undergo regular medical examinations to ensure they are fit to operate an aircraft.

It is important to note that the right hand seat is not a final destination for many pilots. With experience and further training, co-pilots can progress to become captains themselves, occupying the left hand seat and taking on the responsibilities of a pilot-in-command.

In conclusion, the right hand seat, or RHS, is a crucial component of aviation, serving as the co-pilot's position in the cockpit. The co-pilot plays a vital role in supporting the captain, ensuring the safe operation of the aircraft, and sharing responsibilities. The right hand seat provides a valuable training ground for aspiring pilots and acts as a safety net during emergencies. With rigorous training and qualifications, co-pilots can progress in their careers and eventually become captains themselves. The right hand seat embodies the spirit of collaboration, teamwork, and safety that is fundamental to the world of aviation.

Recent Posts