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Hey

 

Currently learning to fly a R22. I have just started to hover, and takeoffs and landing. I find i am gripping the cyclic very tight, so tight knuckles are going white. My instructor advises me i need to relax.

 

I have tried holding the cyclic with just 2 fingers but i just end up going back to gripping the cyclic tightly again.

 

Anyone got any ideas, tips or things i should be thinking about, or will i just relax in time. Has anyone else had this problem?

 

I do still grip the cyclic tight when flying straight and level as well, just alot tighter when hovering.

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I found that using three fingers and resting my arm on my leg helped considerably. But initially you will have to concentrate on doing that.

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Hi Hench, welcome to VR. I had the same problem when I started flying also. I used to get out of the helicopter and my right arm would almost seize up from being so damn tense. On my first stage check I took, the instructor noticed this and tried to get me to relax by using all the usual methods, "thumb & forefinger only" and all the rest. They didn't seem to work.

 

So, he took a pen from his kneeboard and told me to hold the cyclic with my whole hand and lift off my middle finger. He then stuck the pen down between the inside of my middle finger and the outside of the rest of my fingers and told me to squeeze lightly with my middle finger. Then as I picked up into the hover, as I started to squeeze the cyclic like crazy, the pen would dig into the outside of my fingers and start to hurt. Automatically I would relax, to the point where it would no longer be uncomfortable. Any time after that during the flight when I would tense up, such as the transition from the hover into forward flight and back again, I would straight away relax. I done it for a further 4-5 flights after that and found that I had stopped tensing altogether, so I quit using the pen and all was right with the world after that!!

 

Your instructor may not be comfortable with you using this method as they may feel that it will take your concentration away from the task in hand, so mention it to him/her and see what they say. Ooh, and I don't recommend doing this all the time, especially after you start to solo. At least with an instructor on board, they can fix mistakes you make if this method causes you mess up from the pain of you gripping hard during a "tense moment".

 

I myself have only used this method once on one of my students since, but it worked a treat and I weened them off it after a couple of flights and they were "fixed"!!!

 

Ooh, and like Rick said, the arm resting on the leg is the most comfortable way for most people to fly, except for some super short people.

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I used the pen trick as well and it worked a charm. I did this for a few students as well and it helped everyone with that problem. We had a different finger combination but same results.

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Another possibility is to incorporate relaxing your grip into your normal scan routine.

i.e. caution lights, guages, traffic, relax grip, caution lights, guages, etc

 

Early on, I had a major problem with the death grip on the cyclic. It took concious effort on my part to relax my grip and I still find myself doing it at times.

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I had the same problem quite often in my PPL training. I think it's one of those things everyone fights with. Any time I'd notice my hand getting sore, or my upper arm getting sore, I'd make a mental note to simply take a deep breath and relax. I know it sounds silly but next time you're doing something, like say, a normal approach, if you notice yourself tensing up just take a deep breath.

 

For whatever reason, 9 times out of 10, it works for me. I still notice myself getting a bit tense on check rides or when the wind is really kicking my butt during an ILS approach. Deep breath in, deep breath out, everything is okay again.

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I don't mean to speak for everyone, but I don't think anyone has been too far away from pucker-factor 10 when they first started learning to hover. I had a major problem with tensing up during hovering. My instructor used the technique of just constantly telling me that I'm white-knuckling the cyclic after about 5-10 seconds of not being able to hold hover. I eventually got the muscle memory of "tense = all over the place, relaxed = good hover" and it's not an issue now.

 

The pen method sounds like a great idea though. Just don't drop the cap and FOD up the pedals ;)

 

J-

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Start singing and get your mind off of what you're trying to do.

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Unusual singing or laughter during high workload Moments is an abnormal response to stress, and you could find yourself having to be evaluated by a medical examiner. So I don't recomend that technique.

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With me it was the feet that seized up, & as for the singing I was way to busy to talk let alone sing :)

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For some reason I had a problem for the longest time with both feet tensing against the pedals during final in the R22. I just kept having to remind myself to quit pulling a Fred Flinstone and put my weight back in my butt where it belonged. Whistling helped. Drove my instructor nuts, but he went along with it.

 

I'll admit that I NEVER got completely comfortable with the R22 cyclic. Something about the top-down nature of it just doesn't agree with my hand and wrist, so I'll always either death-grip it to keep it steady or make the mistake of lifting my elbow off my thigh and end up chasing the damn thing all over the cabin.

 

My most recurrent problem seems limited to the 300: during a long flight, I end up leaning on my left elbow, kind of cocked over to one side and using just my wrist on the collective... screws up your perspective and makes your back sore after a while. Again, I just have to remind myself to check my posture periodically and stretch things a little.

 

The lesson is: you know you have an issue. You just have to remind yourself to correct it, over and over again, just like all the other control issues you struggle with while learning to keep the bird in the air (or over one spot). After a while you get tired of listening to your own nagging and the problem just kinda goes away.

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I had a serious case of leg press feet on the pedals when first hovering the R22. My grip was also tight. I used the method of surrounding the grip with my hand leaving just a tiny gap. Of course some trim force is needed in some direction. The Hughes 300 with electric trim will let you have a very light touch. It might even fly itself for a second or two. You will get over it soon enough.

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I tend to have my left arm tense up on the collective. Makes throttle control an issue anyone else get the cyclic and have problems with this?

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Unusual singing or laughter during high workload Moments is an abnormal response to stress, and you could find yourself having to be evaluated by a medical examiner.

 

Wouldn't you think that flying in itself is abnormal and needs to be evaluated by a medical examiner? Thankyou Dr. Kildare.

 

As for the cyclic, try holding the handle with the last three fingers and curl your forefinger up over the corner. Werks fer moi.

 

Oh, try a primordial scream before lifting off too. Great stress relief it is.

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Or... when you feel like your hand has had enough tension for a while, throw out the primordial scream, let go of the cyclic, yell out "IT'S ALL YOURS!" and flap your hand around to get the circulation going.

 

Sure to be good for some laughs around the fuel pump later.

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Wouldn't you think that flying in itself is abnormal and needs to be evaluated by a medical examiner? Thankyou Dr. Kildare.

 

As for the cyclic, try holding the handle with the last three fingers and curl your forefinger up over the corner. Werks fer moi.

 

Oh, try a primordial scream before lifting off too. Great stress relief it is.

 

Witch, 67November, Promise me you'll never fly tours...

"Everybody ready? OK... AAAAAAAAAAAAA! :o "

(exeunt passengers....)

Edited by Hovergirl

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Witch, 67November, Promise me you'll never fly tours...

"Everybody ready? OK... AAAAAAAAAAAAA! :o "

(exeunt passengers....)

 

ahh come on HG even Jane had her primodal yell in the jungle :P

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Hi

 

The techniques listed should be tried...will work for some and not for others!

 

Time will be the one certain thing that will bring you to a comfortable level on the controls.

 

Keep flying and remind yourself to relax, relax your body. Kinda make it part of your scan as well after the panel sweep, ask yourself are you white knuckling on the collective and cycle...if so relax your hands and let the rest of your body follow.

 

Don't go so limp you aren't flying anymore...!

Find your own balance. You don't need so much muscle and grip to fly the aircraft in most cases it creates a adverse control effect.

 

Relax and have fun...it will happen in time!

 

Regards,

IFlySky5

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