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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › A question for the thumb flyers
02-20-2004 01:31 PM  16 years ago
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Malorie

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Paw squared, MI

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A question for the thumb flyers
I have recently noticed that when I fly flor an extended period of time with slight back cyclic (say while flying in a circle) my thumb gets what I can only discribe as "the yips" (like in golf). I always thought it was nervousness but It happens on the sim at home.

I was wondering if any of you other thumb flyers have noticed the same thing?

The only solution I can think of is to change to a pich grip. Back to relearning how to fly.

Malorie
Life's a journey, NOT a destination.
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02-20-2004 01:39 PM  16 years ago
ScottG

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Ft Wayne, Indiana

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Mal,

Yea, me too. After several minutes of flying around and even on the sim, my right thumb seems to go nuts and either feels numb or I get a muscle spasm and it begins to twitch around. That makes for a real funny looking flight!


Scott
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02-20-2004 01:42 PM  16 years ago
NRoof

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Palmyra, NY

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Malorie,
Not sure what you mean by the "Yips" but I have flown both planes and heli's for years using my thumbs only and I have never experienced any problems.
Is it possible this is a nerve problem in your hand? It might be worth a trip to the doctor to ask the question.

Norm
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02-20-2004 02:25 PM  16 years ago
midwestpilot

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Crystal Lake, IL

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out of control thumbs....
Every time...and I mean every time I crash...it is because my thumbs did not do what my brain told them....

And when we get home I always give them a spanking for behaving badly

to answer your question...nope..has not happend to me. Although I have played with the pinch method on the sim...just to see what it was like...kindo like back in college when I experimented....er...well...that was a long time ago
In life there is no spacebar!

Rich Erikson AMA 6175
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02-20-2004 02:35 PM  16 years ago
mrNoodles

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Borlänge, Sweden

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Dont sure what you mean, but never had a problem with flying thumbs only /Fredrik
'Hm now I just have to find out where to connect the GV1 sensor to the Jazz80 ESC.
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02-20-2004 02:42 PM  16 years ago
Dr Lodge

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Guildford, Surrey - UK

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I dunno how anyone can fly helis with thumbs only. I use just thumbs with my car but really need a good pinch grip with helis.

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02-20-2004 03:03 PM  16 years ago
Malorie

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Paw squared, MI

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The trouble I'm speaking of only happens with slight back cyclic. My thumb starts to shake like there is not enough muscle to hold that position. Kind of the same thing when you get real nervous flying, that same shake. The tensions on my transmitter sticks are as loose as it gets, so it's not too much stick tension.

With the pinch grip, it goes away completely.

I really just wanted to know if it was just me or because I fly thumbs.

I do have trouble with some slight carple-tunel (spelling?). I guess it's the pinch grip or shaking for me.

I'll try to keep my fluid intake down and see what happens. There's always one.

Thanks guys,
Malorie
Life's a journey, NOT a destination.
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02-20-2004 03:29 PM  16 years ago
garry keogh

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Wicklow, Ireland

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Hey Malorie. . . maybe your thumbs are worn out!!!!!
Ha

Maybe you should go for the ceramic thumb bearings with the webbing ground off. These thumbs are nothing like they used to be, warranty, warranty, warranty

Hey if your thumbs are worn out, then maybe I am just jealous
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02-20-2004 03:36 PM  16 years ago
Peter65

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Roxby Downs, South Australia.

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Too late.. What the! is the Yips?Laughing at yourself will lengthen your life. Laughing at me will shorten it...
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02-20-2004 03:42 PM  16 years ago
NRoof

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Palmyra, NY

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Malorie

You could put some expo in. This will in effect make you move the stick further to get the same result getting you away from the slight pressure needed.
If your problem is sustained pressure this won't help. If this is the case I would still recommend seeing a doctor and possibly getting a referral to a physical therapist to strengthen the muscles.

Norm
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02-20-2004 04:02 PM  16 years ago
smosher

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canada

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Malorie,

Do you mean when your thumb starts shaking and you can't stop it? Had it happen and I hate it. Usually happens to my right thumb and when I start to screw something up - being a relatively new flyer, this really messes up my approaches.
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02-20-2004 04:28 PM  16 years ago
RaptorDude

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Madeira Island, Portugal

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1. Adjust Spring Tension on Tx 2. Pinch
Malorie

I'm no doctor but it seems to me that your thumb muscles are just getting tired from being continuously contracted. That's quite normal, specially taking into account that women's hands are generally less muscled/strong than men's and I have a feeling that radios are designed by men for men.

One possible remedy will involve a little tweaking of you radio sticks.
Try to loosen the springs tension.
I don’t know what’s your Tx, but it should be quite straightforward. Try looking at the manual.
I own a Futaba 9C and, with this one, it’s really very simple.
It just involves removing the back cover and adjusting the proper screws. The manual has a very clear drawing showing where and how to do it.
BTW, my radio came with a huge tension preset from factory. Even for me…(my fingers are not that flimsy)… I must have reduced the tension to about a half… and I’m still considering reducing it even further…. and I use the pinch method!

If your radio doesn’t have a provision for adjusting spring tension, it might still be possible to do it by a little tweaking (i.e. removing a couple of windings from the springs). If don’t feel comfortable with the idea, ask the usual handy-guy…

Another thing: if your sticks length is adjustable, try lengthening them a bit.
They work like a lever so, the longer they are, the less force it takes to maneuver them.
Downside is, if you have short fingers, you might be unable to work the full range. If you’re into some extreme 3D, this might be troublesome…

Anyway, always adjust and try/test in the sim before taking it to the field!

Other than that, I would suggest you try the pinch method…
When I got into the hobby, I used only my thumbs.
Then, I read somewhere someone advising the pinch method for improved control.
It took some time and effort to adapt using the sim.
I’m still able to use my thumbs only… but I must say that I never do it now… and I’ll never go back….

In the end, use what feels more comfortable. But try to persevere a little while and give the pinch method a good chance. Use your simulator. Begin by placing you thumb on the top of the stick, as usual. Then bring the index finger into play. Adapt yourself and, gradually, start placing your thumb a bit further aft. You’ll see that it turns out not to be that different . I’m talking from experience. That’s what I did.
And, IMHO, it’s worth the effort of the adaptation. You’ll get much more precise control for hovering and low speed circuits. And forget about expo… with the pinch method. You’ll get a linear and predictable response wherever your stick is.

Another thing: you’ll have to hold your radio a little different with the pinch method.
Here’s a good how-to resource: http://www.raptortechnique.com/radio_holding.htm

And, a BIG PLUS, it will put a definite end your Yips!!!

Have fun,

Louis
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02-20-2004 04:34 PM  16 years ago
DrDan

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Potosi, Missouri

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Ok, here's one that I can help with.

What you have is completely normal. There are 2 types of muscle fibers, slow twitch and fast twitch. An easy explanation of this is:

Slow Twitch Fibers are basically what long distance runners have in their legs. The are built for endurance, which basically means their muscles are trained to conserve energy, and be efficient by not burning energy in bursts. Their muscles use just enough energy at a time to get by.

Fast Twitch Fibers are basically what sprinters have in their legs. Their muscles are designed for power. Their muscles use bursts of energy, so they will fatigue faster than the slow fibers. They basically use energy up faster than the slow fibers.


Your problem is that your thumbs are designed for gripping power, and not endurance. When you fly for extended periods of times, your thumbs, which use bursts of energy, will fatigue, and will not respond very efficiently to brain commands. This is very normal. You can actually train your thumbs to not fatigue so fast by just using them for long periods. If you use them to much though, you could actually loose strength in them, but you have to use them an unbelievable amount, which will probably never happen, but it is a risk.

Here's the good part though. Fast twitch fibers replenish their energy store's faster than the slow ones do, so just rest intermittently. Also, stretching your thumbs before, during, and after flying can really help you out by "warming them up", which helps with energy use efficiency, and it also help to prevent overuse injury's, like pitchers have with their shoulders.


I hope this explained a little about why your having your problem. It is normal once again. I you have any questions, give me a yell.

Dr. Dan
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02-20-2004 04:58 PM  16 years ago
RaptorDude

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Madeira Island, Portugal

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Excelent explanation, Doc!!!
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02-20-2004 05:45 PM  16 years ago
Drunk Monk

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Preston, UK

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Excelent explanation, Doc!!!
Very good expanation, how much is the consultancy fee?

Stephen

I only open my mouth to change feet.....
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02-20-2004 06:47 PM  16 years ago
G-DAVE

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Tyne and Wear , England

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Thumbs!!!!!
I don't know how you fly with THUMBS ONLY - good enough for planks and cars etc. but does not give the finess needed for Heli Flying.
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02-20-2004 07:16 PM  16 years ago
DrDan

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Potosi, Missouri

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How about a tenth of the cost of your heli. That sounds about right doesn't it? LOL

Dr. Dan
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02-20-2004 07:19 PM  16 years ago
Drunk Monk

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Preston, UK

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How about a tenth of the cost of your heli. That sounds about right doesn't it?
I pay for mine with blood and sweat, ya can happily have some of that.........

Stephen

I only open my mouth to change feet.....
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02-20-2004 07:34 PM  16 years ago
DrDan

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Potosi, Missouri

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I'll tell you what, since I have recieved a countless number answers helped here at RR, we'll just write this one off as professional courtesy. Deal?

Dr. Dan
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02-20-2004 09:01 PM  16 years ago
rtrickyjr

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Drumore, PA (SW of Quarryville)

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Malorie
I fly with thumbs only, and have the same problem if I'm in a tired condition. Adding expo helps to keep others from seeing it. Taking a break pretty much helps me. Also, as mentioned, alcohol the night before does seem to increase the thumb shake

Hope it isn't enough to affect your flying. Let me know if you come up with a good way to keep it from happening.

Rick

-Rick-
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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › A question for the thumb flyers
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