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By Anon
Picture the scenario:

Relatively low-houred and recently-qualified PPL goes on a 'social' flight with an instructor with whom they are friendly (and have previously been taught by).

Said PPL flies a club aircraft from the left seat with said instructor in the right seat. As agreed before the flight the PPL is logging P1, the instructor is not being paid and solo-hire rates are being paid to the club.

If the excrement interacts with the ventilation device (like say the engine fails), who is REALLY in command of that aircraft? The legal position is obvious, but what is the real-world position?

On a similar note, has anyone ever been in a situation where:

(a) You're flying P1 and felt that you're not really in charge, that the person next to them was making the decisions.
(b) You're sat in the RHS as a passenger, and felt that the pilot logging P1 wasn't really taking responsibility and was deferring decisions to you.

Of course, the flight with the instructor passed without incident. But had it not done so, I think my position would be that I would not expect the instructor to take command, but also that I would not object if they expressed a desire to do so.
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By alexbrett2
Not been in that situation myself (still a student at the moment), but I'd expect the instructor not to immediately take control (unless the P1 was massively panicking / attempting to stall the aircraft or similar, but then I guess if I was RHS to someone else in that situation I'd probably do so given the alternative!), but probably offer to, and if I were P1 then I think I'd let them as I'd imagine chances of survival would be much higher that way...
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By Gertie
Discuss in advance. "This isn't a flying lesson, and I'm not asking for the usual running patter, but if you think I'm doing something actively dangerous please tell me." "If there's a fire would you mind taking control?" Ect ect, whatever suits.
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By KNT754G
In the first instance who is "in command" is kind of irrelevant. If there is someone else with access to flying controls who could probably do a better job in an emergency then why not take advantage of that?

2a) if you feel that someone is effectively usurping your command then, politely, tell them that you need to be doing all of this in order to expand your command abilities.
2b) encourage the LHS pilot to actively make the decisions, if necessary by turning any questions straight back to them "well what do you think yourself?" then enter into a discussion if necessary. If the discussion of alternatives can be left until post flight then so much the better.

I have been in the situation of sitting in the rear seat, telling myself that I am a passenger not an FI but having to forcibly point out that current course of action has massive risk, would they please care to take some corrective action.
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By Flintstone
I've been in this position several times. Well, not with it actually hitting the fan but deciding what would happen if it did. I always made it clear up before we went anywhere that I was no more than a passenger and would keep my arms folded if something went wrong unless asked otherwise.

Of course if they'd got it horribly wrong in the heat of the moment I'd be offering advice in whichever manner the circumstances required.
By Dominie
I used to know a VERY experienced ex-RAF FI (like, 8,000 hrs instructional). He was checking me (55hrs total) on a group aircraft just after I got my licence. Sat ready to go at the end of the strip, I said "Pre take off brief - in event of an engine failure, you have control!" He smiled but I meant it.

He was very good another time when I was taking a student pilot friend to the PFA rally, and he wanted to go too - so he sat in the back and never said a word out of place, even when I let the student take control. However, I'm sure that I asked him to help with the lookout, and I would accept his advice any time.
By vw-dan
I'm still PUT but we're encouraged to use "In the event of an emergency, I'll remain in control unless you say otherwise" as part of our pre-flight briefing.
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By Tristan
For me, I would be in control of the aircraft and ask for any and all advice from the said instructor. Any EFATO will require my memory items to be carried out and set the aircraft up for a forced landing into a field. I would try and get the instructor to advise as much as possible, and take the radio as it's another work load off my mind. This is all briefed after power checks.

I feel if you're not in control and dealing with the situation, up until the point where you simply have no choice than to hand over control, then you aren't learning from a situation. If I have a problem, I would want to deal with the situation myself and use any help available to me, if that was from an instructor. I can't speak from RHS experience as I've only sat there on two occasions, both with PPL's in the LHS.

I would then try and get the instructor to de-brief the good and bad points afterwards so I have something to think of on the long drive home! :)