What is LHS in Aviation? (Left Hand Seat)

In the aviation industry, pilots and crew members often refer to a specific seat as the “left hand seat” or the “LHS.” But what exactly is the left hand seat in aviation? Let’s explore this term and understand its significance in aircraft operations.

The left hand seat refers to the seat on the left side of the cockpit in an aircraft, which is typically occupied by the pilot-in-command or the captain. This seat is so significant that it has become a symbolic representation of authority and responsibility in aviation.

While the specific location of the left hand seat may vary slightly among different aircraft models, it is generally positioned closer to the aircraft’s left side, offering the pilot a clear view of the runway during takeoff and landing. This positioning allows the pilot to have a better perspective when maneuvering the aircraft.

The Significance of the Left Hand Seat in Aviation

The left hand seat holds immense importance in aviation due to its association with the role of the pilot-in-command. As the captain assumes this seat, they take on the primary responsibility of safely operating the aircraft and making crucial decisions throughout the flight.

From this position, the pilot has direct control of the aircraft’s controls, instruments, and navigational equipment. They are responsible for ensuring the aircraft is flown in accordance with the standard operating procedures, adhering to air traffic control instructions, and prioritizing the safety of the passengers and crew on board.

The left hand seat is also the primary location for conducting pre-flight checks, monitoring the aircraft’s performance during flight, and responding to any emergency situations that may arise. It acts as the command center for pilots, allowing them to have easy access to essential flight information and communication systems.

Additionally, the left hand seat provides the captain with a clear line of sight to the aircraft’s control display units, which contain vital information such as altitude, airspeed, and navigation data. This visibility enables the pilot to make quick and informed decisions, ensuring the safe and efficient operation of the aircraft.

Skills Required for the Left Hand Seat

Occupying the left hand seat in aviation requires pilots to possess a diverse set of skills and qualifications. Here are some of the key attributes necessary for this crucial position:

1. Knowledge of Aircraft Systems: Pilots must have a comprehensive understanding of the aircraft’s systems, including the engines, flight controls, hydraulics, and electrical systems. This knowledge allows them to troubleshoot any malfunctions effectively and make informed decisions during abnormal situations.

2. Decision-Making Skills: The pilot-in-command must possess excellent decision-making skills to assess complex situations quickly and determine the most appropriate course of action. They need to consider various factors such as weather conditions, air traffic control instructions, and the safety of the aircraft and its passengers.

3. Situational Awareness: Maintaining a high level of situational awareness is crucial for pilots in the left hand seat. This involves constantly monitoring the aircraft’s position, speed, and systems, while also being aware of other aircraft in the vicinity. Situational awareness helps pilots detect and respond to potential hazards in a timely manner.

4. Communication Skills: Effective communication is essential for pilots, especially when interacting with air traffic control and other crew members. The captain in the left hand seat must convey information clearly and collaborate with the co-pilot and cabin crew to ensure efficient and safe operations.

Acquiring and honing these skills is a continuous process for pilots. They undergo extensive training and simulator sessions to develop their abilities, including handling emergency situations, decision-making exercises, and proficiency checks.


The left hand seat in aviation, also known as the LHS, holds significant importance as the pilot-in-command’s position in the cockpit. It symbolizes authority, responsibility, and leadership in aircraft operations. From this seat, the captain controls and operates the aircraft, making critical decisions to ensure a safe and efficient flight.

Understanding the role and significance of the left hand seat underscores the professionalism and expertise required of pilots. It serves as a reminder of the immense skill set necessary to operate an aircraft, highlighting the rigorous training and qualifications pilots must undergo to assume this important position.

For More: What is VMC in Aviation? (Minimum Control Speed)