Why is there a gap in the seat (between the legs)?
What function does it have?



1 Answer 1


I can't speak to all aircraft, but on the 727-100 and 747-100/200 aircraft I flew, the seat cutout accommodated the strap on 5-point seat belt systems that went down between your legs. See


I don't recall for certain whether the control yoke could be brought all the way back into the cutout, but I don't think it could. I may be misremembering though.

As I remember, the camlock into which the other 4 straps (left and right across the seat and left and right shoulders) was permanently attached to the strap going down between the legs. On sitting in the seat, you reached down and pulled that strap up with the camlock on the end and then put the other 4 straps into their slots.

I greatly disliked the shoulder restraints, so once we reached cruise climb, I would rotate the camlock while holding the left and right seats straps in. This would release the shoulder straps.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The seats are adjustable both forward and up, aren't they? Then the control column might reach into the cut-out for a pilot who is really short and has the seat all the way forward even if it does not for you. For what it's worth, Airbus aircraft with side-stick have seats with no cut out and the crotch strap attached in the middle. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Nov 25, 2018 at 11:14
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @JanHudec I'm short so my standard seat position was all the way forward, all the way up, and the rudder pedals (also adjustable) all the way aft. As I remember (accurately?), the yoke came an inch or two into the cutout. So, perhaps the primary reason for the cutout was for the yoke, but the designers elected to simply continue the cutout to accommodate the crotch restraint. $\endgroup$
    – Terry
    Nov 25, 2018 at 21:05

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