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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › Stick technique..is it worth relearning?
01-10-2007 06:21 PM  13 years ago
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jediwannabe

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annapolis,MD U.S.

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Stick technique..is it worth relearning?
I have a question about switching stick technique, thumbs VS the "pinch" style. I fly with my thumbs, i'm a newb approx 3 months in heli's. Should I switch now? Has anyone switched with any benifits? I ask because I see alot of Pro's and some of the better local flyers using the pinch style as opposed to the thumbs.
I can hover all orientaions including inverted, figure 8's forward and backward, loops and rolls using thumbs. When I tried the sim with the "NEW"(to me) pinch style it felt like I was starting all over. I'm in this for the long haul and I would like to be a good 3D flyer one day so should I bite the bullet and relearn?
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01-10-2007 06:26 PM  13 years ago
Nightstalker

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UK (BEDFORDSHIRE)

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well i use the thumbs, iv tried the pinch but it dont feel right to me, so im sticking with what im used to and feels better
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01-10-2007 06:27 PM  13 years ago
DANPOLOX

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Austin, TX - usa

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Use whatever you are comfortable with. I can do pretty good 3D maneuvers and I use my thumbs.
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01-10-2007 07:04 PM  13 years ago
Cornster

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Medford, MA USA

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I used to fly with just my thumbs, that is, untill I cashed in because of it.

I was flying my 1/4 scale Laser and was performing a very low alt split-S (about 30ft off the ground starting out). Would have been awsome if my thumb had not slipped off the stick right after I rolled inverted and pulled the nose down. SMACK! $1200 bag of chips. Since then, I used to pinch method and got used to it, sure, it felt wrong right off, but stick with and you'll get used to it.

I also have MUCH more precision movements with the pinch method.

Cornster

P.S. It may not convince you to change, and I am not trying to, BUT...it's one thing to have your thumbs pop off the sticks and plant your prize into Terra Firma; but imagine the horror to have your thumbs slip off and watch your mighty Ginsu Dual Cutter dive into people.

To me, it's always worth the extra hassle if it means an increase in safety.
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01-10-2007 07:07 PM  13 years ago
Nightstalker

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UK (BEDFORDSHIRE)

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iv tried it many times on the sim but just cant get a feel for it,
but one thing i do when im about to spool up is. push hard with my thumbs on the sticks and it makes indents and for the whole flight they sit just right on the sticks,
i want to go to the pinch but cant get a hang of it
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01-10-2007 07:24 PM  13 years ago
TrexRookie

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San Francisco, CA

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I started off with thumbs only and thought everything was fine, aside from the occasional thumb slipping off a stick... one of the guys on here told me that the pinch is hard to get used to at first, but once you get used to it, you'll feel more locked in.. he was right. Fortunately for me, I've only been flying for 5-6 months, so it wasn't a very bad habit to break considering I switched over about 3 months in... I fly mild 3d and hover/fly all orientations except inverted backwards 8's, but it's definitely easier for me to control the heli now...
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01-10-2007 07:37 PM  13 years ago
w.pasman

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Netherlands

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I fly thumbs. I'm an F3C precision style flyer, also when I do 3D.

I don't agree with the "pinch is more accurate". Let me explain

When I started I tried both
Pinch is just a more trouble moving the stick fast, and the movement you want takes much more muscle coordination with it (two fingers instead of one, much more bending joints on thumb and finger, etc).
IMHO many consider pinching more stable exactly because it takes much more efford to move the stick. Indeed if one of your fingers is doing some uncoordinates moves then the other finger may compensate. But if your thumb coordination is OK why bother to bring in extra damping and difficulties.
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01-10-2007 07:37 PM  13 years ago
red_z06

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Dumont, NJ

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I've been flying pinching method on airplanes. I've been preaching this method along with neck strap for all who are learning aerobatics on airplanes. Lengthening the stick also alows high rate only flying with proper expo setup.

Coming to heli side in May 2006, I've been using pinching method for all flying.

However, I find the long stick length combursome for doing piro-flips. I've reduced the stick length to minimum. As I start doing full rudder piro-flips, I sometimes I'm losing grip as you swirl around about 50%-70% delflection swirl on cyclic after extended swirling. This is the only time I feel that I rather using thumbs.
www.JustinJee.com
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01-10-2007 09:10 PM  13 years ago
Micro-Maniac

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Pasco,Washington Formerly: Captain Chaos

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There's a proper way to hold a TX with the pinch style too -

Use a neckstrap as red_z06 said and adjust it until you're holding the radio level to the ground (may need to rig something for proper balance), your arms bent 90° at the elbows, and your wrists locked strait - Sandwich the radio between your palms with your pinky fingers bent under the radio , ring fingers behind the top switches, and middle fingers behind the face switches - Holding the radio and pinching the sticks should be quite comfortable like this -

I don't understand how anyone can disclaim the added precision of the pinch method as it's very noticable to me.
(Alan Szabo Jr & Nigel Brown are pinchers)
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01-10-2007 09:15 PM  13 years ago
heliVoY

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NJ

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i found this on one of the jet forums ... i use fingers to pinch the sticks myself ....

Using just the thumb, or thumb and forefinger may be an easier decision with this little test. Place your hands in front of you as if they were being used for karate. Like a karate chop the edge of your fingers placed down on the table or in the air in front of you and your thumbs are vertical. Now very slowly, very slowly, attempt to make small circles with your thumbs in the air. The circle should be about the diameter of a pencil eraser, really small, really slow. You may feel a sort of clicking or intermittent small motor movement as you create the invisible circles. Reverse the direction and see if the same slight hitches also occur. Now place your forefingers on your thumbs and repeat the same action, small circles the size of a pencil eraser, executed very slowly. You'll find that the combination of thumb and forefinger smooths out the motion of creating the circles as your fingers cooperate with one another in the execution of the circle. When flying with thumbs only, it is the joystick, that becomes the forefinger. There's nothing inherently wrong with this except, that if you're using the transmitter as a counterpoint in place of your forefinger, any body language that is placed into the transmitter, is translated by the joystick, into flight directions for the aircraft. This is an interesting problem that for the most part causes little difficulty because we pilots are constantly making slight corrections intuitively with our hand-eye coordination. I have worked out a solution to making my own flying more accurate and comfortable for myself. This little test can help determine how serious these corrections are for yourself. I have found younger fliers have greater small motor skills than guys like myself who just turned 60. Experience generally will correct for all of these small mistakes or adjustments. I've just worked out a way to remove as many as I can from get-go. This is the test that I've created to explain why I use thumb and forefinger to creat my small moves, the small circles, that are a great part of my flying corrections. It's the same effect that makes writing with a pen or pencil so smooth your Thumb and forfinger seem to be a natural team. It's only when you need to use four of your five fingers to hold the transmitter that we switch to thumbs only. Remove that from the issue and how you hold the sticks can be approched differently.

Voy
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01-10-2007 09:23 PM  13 years ago
ErichF (RIP)

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Sutton, NH

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I have use pinch method my entire life...even before RC

Anyways, think of this in reference to precision. Do you think you could learn to write as well with a pen taped just to your thumb?

Good maneuvers aren't all about how far you can move the stick. A good manuever starts with the first 1/8 of a stick input. I always found it too easy to introduce an unintended input with just thumbs, during that crucial initial input.

Yes, you have twice the muscles to train, but you also have tactile feed back from another plane of movement (the side your finger rests upon), therefore doubling your spatial awareness of the stick position and movement.

Either way, your brain works it out. People flying both disciplines are equally capable in the end.

Erich
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01-10-2007 09:24 PM  13 years ago
DS 8717

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Here wishing i was somewhere else

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I use pinch method after learning to fly with thumbs. One problem with pinching is i use my middle fingers to flip the mode switches on top of the trans and on some trans i cant get my fingers between the switches,this makes it feel akward when i fly some one elses heli with a futaba transmitter. I have the sticks as short as possible because with longer sticks you have to move the sticks further when going full cyclic or rudder. Stick movemets are faster using thumbs so the response will be faster. DOUGYOU ONLY LIVE ONCE..IF YOU LIVE IT RIGHT THATS ALL YOU NEED
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01-10-2007 09:50 PM  13 years ago
AndyH

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Rockledge, FL

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huh - the small motor coordination test was kinda of neat. I felt the "clicking" like described. Weird!

I am now a thumb flyer. I used to fly pinch, but it seemed like fast stick movements felt constrained. Plus everytime I sat down at the sim and I was using my thumbs only - I grew up flying planks with my thumbs! So I decided it felt more natural for me. To each his own! whatever works better for you!

That being said, if you're flying thumbs - make sure your sticks have nice sharp pointy edges - the type that dig into your finger! You don't want your thumb slipping off!
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01-10-2007 09:54 PM  13 years ago
TrexRookie

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San Francisco, CA

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I agree with Andy... if the ends of the gimbals aren't sharp enough, then you may have one slip out from under your thumb... but if that's how you like to fly, then so be it... this lil debate is almost like trying to tell a scale flyer that they should be flying 3d, and vice versa... do what you feel is most enjoyable for yourself!
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01-10-2007 10:00 PM  13 years ago
AlanR8

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High Crompton, Manchester. UK

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All very much personal choice. I was taught pinch and was taught from day one to use a tranny tray. Neither habit can I break!

Every now and then I'll fly/hover without the tray, usually when I'm setting up someone else's heli but always with a neck strap.

My hands are small and I don't feel comfortable holding the tranny so the tray becomes essential. It means the tray takes all the weight, it balances perfectly and I can place my wrists on the supports with ease and just hold the sticks between thumb and finger.

It works for me...
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01-10-2007 10:25 PM  13 years ago
montarok

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Brooklyn, NY

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If you can already do all those maneuvers comfortably using your thumbs, them its safe to say that you can stick with the thumbs. I started out flying thumbs, but I got stuck when I started learning 3D maneuver, so I decided to go pinch. It took me a whole season to switch and it was well worth it.------------------------------------
www.carifuna.com
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01-11-2007 02:19 PM  13 years ago
jediwannabe

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annapolis,MD U.S.

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WOW,

Thanks for all the replies! I can do the moves I spoke of in my first post with my just my thumbs. I've been trying some more difficult moves on the sim and I don't have my "collective management" under control very well. It wasn't that big of a deal with my Blade CP because it didn't go anywhere when I hit the colecctive to hard or overcorrected. I'm finding that with my TREX 450 a bad input can cause me to end up at the far ends of the flying field!
I am trying to do piro's at the top of a regular loop(on the sim) and noticed that putting rudder in when i'm trying to find that collective "sweet spot" is proving difficult with the thumbs. Like any over anxious 3D flyer I attemt piro flips (on my sim) and have difficulty with the cyclic stirrs. Its these type issues that have me trying out a pinch method.
With my real heli i'm trying to cement the basics, hover orientations, forward flight, backward flight. Forward loops and rolls, I've done a nice backward loop or 2 but i've also slammed my heli once doing them.
From the advice I see I believe the choice is mine to find out what works best. Don't laugh too hard, but I guess i'll buy a neckstrap today! I've gone against the grain in other sports as far a technique...golf, motocross, hockey. In the end it seemed that having a unique style always cost me when I was at the higher levels.
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01-11-2007 03:07 PM  13 years ago
Dakine

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OC, Commifornia

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I started out with thumbs only.

Then, I went to pinch for the 'lock in' feel. You'll have to relearn how to fly if you make the transition.

But then, I felt constrained with pinch style so I recently gone back to thumbs only. YOU CAN fly with precision with thumbs only. Go with what feels most comfortable to YOU. The good thing is, I can fly both thumbs or pinch, but I prefer thumbs.

However, the most recent significant fundamental change of style for me was, I now 'sit' when I fly. It's more relaxing I just bring a fold-out chair with me to the field.
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01-11-2007 03:09 PM  13 years ago
red_z06

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Dumont, NJ

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Hmmm. Another good point!

How many of you practice on sim standing to better simulate field flying? If you do stand, do you put on a neck strap as well?
www.JustinJee.com
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01-11-2007 03:14 PM  13 years ago
DANPOLOX

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Austin, TX - usa

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I practice standing. I have the computer set up to a projector. It's great for a party. It's much more realistic.
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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › Stick technique..is it worth relearning?
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