why do we board a plane from the left?

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Why do we board a plane from left?


why do we board a plane from the left?
Why do we board a plane from left?
If you haven't noticed this while boarding on flights whenever you travel, this title may have shocked you. Yeah, That's true! You always board from the left side of the aircraft. Reason? Because aircraft doors are located on its left side. But why?

Different experts have different explanations for this. 

One such explanation was given by a commercial pilot Andrew Stagg. According to Capt. Andrew, the reason for boarding from the left side of the aircraft goes back to ships. Here is the fun fact! The left side of the ship is known as port while the right side of the ship is known as starboard.

ship boarding from port
Ship port
Actually, in olden times, Helmsman used to steer ships with the help of steering oar. And as most of the people were/are right-handed. Hence, Steering oars were positioned on the right side of the boat. Hence, the right side was called as steerboard. And derived from steerboard, the right side of the boat come to known as starboard. About Port, to avoid obstacles to the steering oar which was on right side of the boat, an embarking and disembarking of the passengers was done from the left side of the boat. And obviously, that was a side of the port. So, left side come to known as a port.

Olden airliners followed this same rule even for the aircraft. Following the tradition, passengers board modern planes from the left.

Passengers boarding from left
Passengers boarding from left
Another explanation was given by US Air Force pilot. According to him, early airports were designed in such a way that aircraft could taxi adjacent to the terminal, stop and board or deboard passengers. From the olden times, pilots seat on the left seat of the cockpit. Keeping boarding door on the left side of the aircraft was convenient for pilots to judge wingtip clearance from the terminal building. Again, this explains boarding from the left side of the aircraft.

aircraft boarding from left
aircraft boarding from left
While passengers board or deboard from the left door, the right side of the aircraft is used for services such as refueling, loading, and unloading, etc. This saves the time of both passengers and ground staff. 

These were the explanations given by the experts. But this produces one more question. Why most pilots sit on the left seat of the cockpit? Here's the explanation for that!

Thanks for reading!

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