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Tight Grip VS Light Touch
2010-03-18

Tight Grip VS Light Touch

The left hand has only two useable digits while flying. The forefinger is behind the yoke for back pressure and the thumb is for forward pressure. You cannot feel the pressures requiring trim if a heavier touch is used. Tension is the greatest single cause of a full tight grip. Note how a beginning driver grips the wheel. The sooner the student learns that a light touch with proper trim gives more positive control, the better. There is a safety factor in this. Any distraction or movement of the body will affect yoke pressure. This is especially true if the pressure is being held tightly against the trim. The pilot with a light touch can let go of the yoke and the plane will fly as trimmed. The tight grip increases fatigue as a factor. Easy to say; difficult to do. IFR pilots do it better with a light touch. A full grip on the yoke seems to result in inadvertent climbs and turns. Tension is the greatest single cause of the tight full grip on the yoke. The best analogy is the differences between student and experienced drivers in holding the steering wheel of a car.

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