Right Seat Safety

Riding in the copilot’s seat is a treat, but this seat requires a bit more attention to safety than a spot on the benches in the back of the plane. Here are a few tips on right seat safety from air boss Rabbitt Staib:

  • No helmets in your lap–they restrict movement of the yoke.
  • Don’t touch any aircraft controls at any time.
  • Stay low when climbing into and out of the cockpit.
  • Don’t lean on the yoke.
  • If your helmet’s on your head, remember to duck lower when getting in or out of the cockpit to avoid ceiling-mounted controls.
  • When seated in the right seat, be aware of the prop overspeed switch by your left knee and don’t touch that either.
  • Rolling down the window is fine, but put it back up before you exit.
  • Feel free to talk to the pilot, but remember that the radio takes precedence–don’t distract the pilot when he’s talking to air traffic control or manifest.
  • In case of emergency, buckle in unless the pilot instructs you to exit.
  • Whenever possible, put a smaller skydiver in the right seat (less chance of touching things they shouldn’t).
  • Move out of the cockpit into the back before jump run, so you’re not distracting the pilot on jump run.

About the Author: Rabbitt Staib

Rabbitt is a skydiver as well as Skydive Spaceland's chief pilot, USPA Safety and Training Advisor. He is a commercial pilot, holds U.S. National gold and silver medals in formation skydiving, was a participant in a 297-person formation, and was a videographer in world record attempts.

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