View Full Version : Only one or both hands on controls during take-off


Capt. Spock
3rd May 2012, 19:56
Hello!

Any opinions about having one or both hands on controls during take-off on a typical training aircraft equipped with control column (C172). Take-off being in this case the phase from lift off until reaching 1000 feet.

I have recently come across students who have been taught to take-off having both of their hands on controls during take-off. Reasoning behind this being able to counter any turbulence or gusts during take-off and on heavier aircraft (light twin) to counter the control forces.

On the other hand I would say single hand on controls gives better feel on aircraft, encourages correct trimming and disencourages overcontrolling. With an added benefit of having your right hand free for the throttle should it be neccesary to close it.

Any other opinions or deeper insight?

Thank you already in advance! :ok:



bingofuel
3rd May 2012, 20:37
One hand on the control column or stick and the other on the throttle until above 1000ft, apart from whilst raising flap or any other required inout below 1000ft agl

Dan the weegie
3rd May 2012, 20:43
One hand on the blimmin throttle!!!

I sat next to someone on a checkout in 172 on departure and at 200feet the throttle started to creep back and the speed was getting preciously close to the stall by 300 feet, we weren't climbing and he didn't notice.

I even prompted him by saying "I wonder why we aren't climbing and your speed is so slow"?

Eventually I had to point at the throttle, so he pushed it back in and put both hands on the control stick, the throttle worked it's way back out and at 700 feet we were at the light buffet. I repeated the thing about the throttle and he pushed it back in. So we ended up flying well over an hour of circuits as I had to explain to this PPL that if you're going slowly there is something wrong but you must lower the nose if you feel the buffet.

I teach and have always taught that below 1000ft the hand stays on the throttle, it's not essential but it's a damn good habit to be in and the above story highlights that. If I had not been in the aircraft that guy would have stalled his 172 from 300ft and had a very unpleasant accident.

Hand on the blimmin throttle!!

Big Pistons Forever
3rd May 2012, 20:49
One hand on the stick and one hand on the throttle, Always.

mad_jock
3rd May 2012, 20:54
I can tell you were that has come from.

Its sodding airline ops pish. Which is of course hand off the levers at V1.

Find out which school they have been to. I am willing to bet they have a group of zero to hero and then christ I don't have a job better become an instructor, types teaching there.

Your lucky they didn't turn up with "here's a checklist that I have been given which is meant to be better than the POH one" They will then bring out this "thing" which which if you do it all will mean that your 20mins from strapping in to departure.

Capt. Spock
3rd May 2012, 20:54
"With right hand free for the throttle" I meant to say that it also says on the throttle.

This is pretty much what I was expecting to hear. Is there anyone who could defend keeping both hands on the controls?

mad_jock
3rd May 2012, 21:16
There will be some instructors who work for certain schools who will think its a good idea. But they have been asymalated into the magenta line borg and really don't care about the damage they are doing to the light aircraft flying standards.

They will also think its a good idea adding half the gust to the POH approach speed, adding another 5 knts because the sun is up so therefore the air is more unstable, adding another 5 because its feels a bit slow and then a final 10 for mother.

Dan the weegie
3rd May 2012, 21:24
If you're flying in conditions so poor that the stick is likely to leave your hand then the conditions are probably too poor to fly a 172 :)

mad_jock
3rd May 2012, 21:27
Either that or your utterly shite at trimming.

RTN11
3rd May 2012, 22:54
I would always teach to keep the hand on the throttle. During any phase of flight if the spare hand isn't doing anything else it should be on a throttle.

I once flew with a very experienced RAF instructor, and he commented that above 1000' my hand wasn't on the throttle. He said that during his training, if he wasn't holding the throttle for an extended period and his hand was just idle, the instructor would simply cut the throttle. This would keep happening until he had built the reflex to keep the hand on the throttle.

I have also had the case in a 172 where after take off, having forgotten to tighten the throttle friction, the throttle started to come out. Rather disconcerting to have a sudden loss of power shortly after take off, and that was the only lesson I needed to keep my hand on the throttle!

Big Pistons Forever
3rd May 2012, 23:07
I would always teach to keep the hand on the throttle. During any phase of flight if the spare hand isn't doing anything else it should be on a throttle.


Personally I think that is overkill. The hand should be on throttle during takeoff to make sure it doesn't creep back and also if the engine fails when you are on the ground during the takeoff or in the initial climb right after takeoff it is vital that in the event of a total engine failure the throttle be retarded to idle.

However once in cruise climb or level in cruise flight, and cruise power has been set proper throttle tension adjustment should avoid the possibilty of it creeping back and even if it did it should not be a big deal to simply reset the desired power.

3 Point
4th May 2012, 07:22
Hey Jock,

Of course airlie ops prcedures are "pish" if aplied to light aircraft but, hands off at V1 is perfectly proper in an aeroplane with multiple engines and a specified V1.

In a light aircraft keep the hand on the bloody throtle during take off and landing (ecept if trimming or operating flaps, gear etc)!

3 Point

Exascot
4th May 2012, 07:26
Na, in Greece, one hand for the coffee the other for the mobile phone and the cigarette in mouth can look after itself, just trim it nose up :E

Genghis the Engineer
4th May 2012, 07:37
Hand on the throttle low level in anything but a flexwing, where the hand throttle should be firmly closed, both hands on the bar, and power on the foot throttle.

But. In a 172, a closing throttle will cause pitch down and sink. To get close to the stall, the pilot needs to be pulling pretty hard as well.

G

Cows getting bigger
4th May 2012, 08:24
As above. I particularly like the line about the 'magenta line borg'. How true. :)

Piper.Classique
4th May 2012, 14:24
Is there anyone who could defend keeping both hands on the controls? Below about 1000 feet, I doubt it. In the cruise at a sensible height, why not?

bookworm
4th May 2012, 20:17
The hand should be on throttle during takeoff to make sure it doesn't creep back and also if the engine fails when you are on the ground during the takeoff or in the initial climb right after takeoff it is vital that in the event of a total engine failure the throttle be retarded to idle.

There's another failure mode that protects against, as noted here (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/dft_avsafety_pdf_022814.pdf).

Power lever migration
Tests were carried out, both on the ground and in flight, to examine power lever migration with the friction selected fully off. Take-off power of 2,230 ft lbs was set and 2,000 propeller rpm (governed) was selected. When the pilot removed his right hand from both power levers on the ground, they migrated aft initially very quickly to 1,000 ft lbs and then more slowly with the torque falling to 400 ft lbs.
...
Conclusion
Whilst the CVR does not provide any comments by the pilot as to the problems he was experiencing, spectral analysis of the CVR recording indicates that a significant difference in propeller rpm occurred at rotation when the pilot would normally have removed his right hand from the power levers. There was no evidence of a malfunction in either engine or the propeller control systems thus it is probable that migration of a power lever(s) occurred due to insufficient friction being set on the power lever friction control. The fiction control had been slackened during recent maintenance and it was possible that it was not adjusted sufficiently by the pilot during his checks prior to takeoff.

(I've always wanted a "fiction control" for my engines -- something to triple the power perhaps ;)).

hvogt
4th May 2012, 20:27
My flight school must have invented the airline ops pish mad_jock mentioned. We had an incapacitation call at 40 kt and a "500" call in climbs and descends, but we were always taught to keep one hand at the throttles during take-offs, approaches and practice manoeuvres.

Pilot.Lyons
4th May 2012, 20:44
I was taught to always fly one hand on yoke.... Right hand on throttle during take off to 1000 ft and for landings

In fact.. If i was to use both hands i think it would feel very very odd and uncomfortable.

I have flown in very strong winds above the specified limits and still managed with one hand on yoke and one on throttle... To be honest i wouldnt want my right hand any where else in those conditions

Piper.Classique
4th May 2012, 20:51
Bit of thread drift, I know, but how many aircraft have only a left hand throttle, or only a right hand throttle (for the left seat)? And how many students have a problem flying with the "other" hand?
Assuming side by side seating here.

mad_jock
4th May 2012, 21:38
Of course airlie ops prcedures are "pish" if aplied to light aircraft but, hands off at V1 is perfectly proper in an aeroplane with multiple engines and a specified V1

I know thats my day job to teach such procedures. I have 4 times as many hours now doing those procedures than SEP ones. But I still keep one hand on the power (and a thumb on the mixture) and one hand on the stick flying a SEP.

And its good to see another pilot with similar levels of spelling as myself :p

And to the Kraut poster I think one of your instructors posts on here. We have crossed swords many times about the persudo pish ops that they are teaching. His fall back line is that its approved and your not expected to flying in light aircraft after the course.

In that case why do they give these students a license that allows them to fly this class of aircraft?

Dan the weegie
4th May 2012, 22:12
Genghis, you can trim out a hell of a lot of that pull on a 172, I watched someone do that very thing and just simply not notice at all. I mean not even register that the additional trimming meant something wasn't right, or that we weren't climbing or the light buffeting sensation on the elevator and rudder.

It's incredible how oblivious some people can be to important signs when they are not very current.

foxmoth
4th May 2012, 22:45
Quote:
Is there anyone who could defend keeping both hands on the controls?
Below about 1000 feet, I doubt it. In the cruise at a sensible height, why not?

Well, I could go with, why not? But in truth I would ask, "in the cruise at a sensible height, why?" I see no point in flying 2 hands on even at this point - it achieves nothing and is an uncomfortable way to fly.

Piper.Classique
5th May 2012, 06:35
Well, I could go with, why not? But in truth I would ask, "in the cruise at a sensible height, why?" I see no point in flying 2 hands on even at this point - it achieves nothing and is an uncomfortable way to fly.

Personal choice? I don't usually fly with a yoke, but for those who do, if they find it comfortable?

Whopity
5th May 2012, 09:11
Any opinions about having one or both hands on controls during take-offAnd what about Landing? On both occasions it is essential to have control of the power source, so one hand on the stick, the other on the throttle.

I recall an instructor telling me that he had a wooden propeller go out of balance, and his point was that their was so much vibration he could not find the throttle to close it.

FlyingStone
5th May 2012, 13:50
The only exception for having two hands on the control column on takeoff is after V1 if you're flying something capable of flying after engine failure at V1 (e.g. jet or turboprop).

The only exception for having two hands on the control column for landing is when flying heavier aircraft at or near forward C.G. limit.

A4C
5th May 2012, 13:52
The ONLY time both hands should be on the yoke during takeoff is when "V1" is called, and you're flying a multi-piloted airplane. (And this procedure was undoubtedly developed to prevent attempts at rejected takeoff after V1).

Alister
5th May 2012, 14:54
If you need to land on the remaining runway due to a problem, wouldn't your other hand be better off on the throttle? When there is no runway left remaining, by all means take your hand off the throttle and trim the aircraft, use both hands on the control column etc (unless the throttle happens to be slippery like a Cessna).

piperboy84
5th May 2012, 23:05
MY CFI would have beaten me within an inch of my life if I had taken my hand off the throttle on TO

Squawk_code
6th May 2012, 15:51
I agree totally with having a hand on the stick/yoke and the other on the throttle during take-off, but up to 1000ft seems slightly excessive to me. Maybe to 500-600ft but after that any change in RPM/speed with no throttle setting movement should (I stress should) be noted during the LAI scan.

I have in the past reduced the power setting slightly to see if students pick it up. It amazed me how either a)as pointed out you come closer and closer to the stall or b)you pretty much stopped climbing altogether! It's an exercise which students learn well from in my humble opinion. As is opening the throttle on an practice engine failure when it hasn't been checked! They soon learn after that if done at a critical point!

Dan the weegie
6th May 2012, 21:04
Those were students, I've seen plenty of licensed pilots do the same which is why I teach hand on the throttle below 1000ft, it's only really for 2 minutes max and there's nothing else for your hand to be doing so it might as well be making sure the throttle is fully forward. It really does creep back in the 152/172/182 not so much in the pipers but it's good technique.

In my cub there's also a tendency to hit the rear throttle with your elbow when you trim and there have been a few anecdotes of "presumed" engine failures due to the throttle being nudged back with the elbow - little pathetic but it's a definite possibility.

Check Airman
7th May 2012, 02:02
MY CFI would have beaten me within an inch of my life if I had taken my hand off the throttle on TO

So would I:)

I would always insist that my students have a hand on the throttle during takeoff and landing. You simply must be ready to adjust power at a moment's notice. The only exception was when landing a seneca- and only in the very last stage of the flare.

osmosis
7th May 2012, 04:58
Let us not forget there are exceptions to most things.

I'm waiting to hear from those who are current at spending all of their flying hours on the deck. In my day; right hand on stick and once the left hand finished with the throttle quadrant it went to the spray lever and stayed there.

Don't take things too literally kiddies.

Piper.Classique
7th May 2012, 10:00
True, osmosis. When tugging it is off the deck, then hand on the tow release until I am at around 300 metres. Then if the glider pilot isn't doing anything worrying I can free up the spare hand.

Capt. Spock
13th May 2012, 18:51
I am glad to announce that due to your feedback I was able to convince some of these students to fly with one hand on the control column and one hand on throttle. They had been introduced to this both hands on controls flying by a former airline pilot.

I was recently doing crosswind landings with one of them in fairly gusty weather and kept wondering how could they even pull off a successful crosswind landing or go around in such conditions by having both of your hands on controls.

A and C
15th May 2012, 13:58
Please keep telling it like it is !!

I find all this trying to fly SEP like an airliner mostly stupid and sometimes stupidly dangerous.

It would not surprise me if all this rubbish comes from that big school in the south that Is like aviations answer to the church of scientology.

Go Smoke
15th May 2012, 21:04
Please god, no...

sevenstrokeroll
15th May 2012, 23:26
I've got an idea...DO WHAT WORKS WELL FOR YOU

I came up the hard way...teaching, little airlines and now a big, big airline.

AT the big airline, I've seen guys use both hands to land the thing and ask help from the other pilot with the throttles...this in extreme crosswind

I've landed with one hand on the yoke and one on the throttle in extreme crosswind using assymetric thrust to aid in directional control (jet).

I've placed both hands on the yoke for the reinforcement of the GO decision at or near V1.

I've kept one hand on the throttle on takeoff and one on the yoke so as to be ready to go to firewall thrust/power in a windshear scenario.

and yes, some small planes have the throttles retard themselves on takeoff and climbout due to vibes...so use the throttle lock a bit more, or keep your hand on it.

so...fly safe and smart

AND WHAT DO THE FRICKIN AIRBUS PILOTS DO?

dl_88
16th May 2012, 16:08
I've got an idea...DO WHAT WORKS WELL FOR YOU..

so...fly safe and smart
thats so true:D

AND WHAT DO THE FRICKIN AIRBUS PILOTS DO?

same thing guys flying the cirruses do:p

mad_jock
16th May 2012, 16:45
What you have described is all airline ops.

We are not teaching people to fly an airliner we are teaching the to fly a SEP light aircraft.

Unless there is a control that needs to be held like the cable release I really can't see any reason NOT to have your hand on the power.

There are lots of things that work well for students but are dirty filthy habits to get into.

Pull what
16th May 2012, 18:11
Any opinions about having one or both hands on controls during take-off on a typical training aircraft equipped with control column (C172). Take-off being in this case the phase from lift off until reaching 1000 feet.

One hand needs to be on the throttle during TO to ensure you have full available power and maintain it. If you levelled off below 1000 feet EG in a low level circuit, you may want to take your hand off earlier as the power setting is no longer critical if you have cleared all obstacles and the aircraft is flying normally.

Its nothing to do with airline flying as such-its operating the type of aircraft that you are training in at the time, and in the case of larger aircraft normally in accordance to a operation manual approved procedure which normally started life as the manufacturers procedure!

Big Pistons Forever
16th May 2012, 19:09
At the risk of thread drift I think the idea of adopting airline style operating practices in light aircraft is frequently derided as "pish".

Some airline practices clearly do not belong in little airplanes. When I am at my day job flying a large 2 crew T-Prop during the take off one hand is on the wheel and the other hand is on the power levers until the "V1" call at which point that hand goes to the wheel. In a light aircraft I teach one hand on the throttle and the other hand on the wheel until 1000 feet AGL.

However there are many aspects of airline flying that IMO are directly relevant to light aircraft like checklist discipline, applying performance calculations, takeoff emergency briefing and a host of others.

Arrogantly dismissing all large aircraft operating practices as irrelevant to light aircraft flight training is iMO a disservice to the student.

mad_jock
16th May 2012, 22:00
there is common areas BPF as you rightly say.

But what we have in the UK is a group of people that try and fit as much airline ops into SEP flying as they can.

They want 3 deg glide all the time using PAPI's which means the student never learns to judge the aspect for an none prompted approach.

They add stupid amounts of speed onto approach as per a jet SOP.

And the list goes on.

Genghis the Engineer
16th May 2012, 22:18
A good command / pre-take-off brief surely is simply good flying practice, and has nothing to do with the size of aeroplane.

Checklists are different: "do -confirm" that is standard in multi-crew is less sensible than "read - do" in a light aeroplane.

But I have seen single engine Cessnas provided with massive book-form checklists when everything important could easily be on a single sheet of A4 - A5 with brevity. Ye gods I went to do some training on a microlight the other day and was presented with a 10 page printed checklist. The owner looked rather disgruntled when I threw it in a locker and wrote a simple mnemonic on his kneeboard and told him to use that.

3 degree glideslip belongs when following an ILS, or flying a multi-engined aeroplane. I have been doing teaching at Booker where a 3 degree approach will put you if the engine coughs anywhere between 800ft and 100ft in the middle of High Wycombe. Fly a single engined aeroplane as a single engined aeroplane - that is, one in which a single engine failure must be survivable. But the number of pilots I've flown with who try to fly that bloody 3 degree approach - and there isn't even any instrument approach at Booker.

Performance calculations are necessary. At shorter runways. Anybody doing them in a C152 on an 1800m runway arguably has too much time on their hands!

Weight and balance calculations on the other hand are done far too rarely. And here's another recent bugbear of mine - people (usually syndicates) who leave a f****ing great bag of tools in the back of an aeroplane all the time, without every considering what it's doing to the CG.

Big aeroplane CRM has its place on occasion as well. I got phoned the other day by a PPL who was struggling to cope with another PPL they were flying with who couldn't keep their hands off the controls without permission and needed advice on how to deal with it. A firm talk on good CRM helped fix that.


So yes...

(a) Some big aeroplane practices belong in little aeroplanes, but not all:-
(b) I'm worried that I'm starting to sound like Mad Jock.

G

Pilot DAR
17th May 2012, 02:42
A good friend of mine is one of the few internationally recognized trainers on Lake Amphibians. To my amusement, he insists on two hands on the control wheel during takeoff. This deviates from my normal practice of maintaining control of the throttle during takeoff. I asked him about this.

He explained that for new pilots it takes a lot of concentration to get the planing attitude right on the water, so being distracted by the throttle is not so good. Two hands on the wheel, and you concentration is there too. So, when I went for refresher training with him last summer (required, as I am named on his fleet insurance), this came up again, as I had a firm hold of the throttle during takeoff. I got the "reminder". Being a bit too bold, I reminded back that of my 150 hours in flying boats, 100 is in the Teal, which does not have a place for a second hand on the controls, so the throttle seems the best place for that extra hand. So takeoffs are perfectly natural with one hand. He did not disagree with the logic, and said I could fly as I liked when I was alone, but any demo/training flying I do is to be two hands to set a good example, and be consistent. I'll see if I can remember that!

In the mean time, all other aircraft, one hand on the controls, the other on the throttle(s). I have had them creep back, and that is insidious!

While checking myself out on a Cessna 207, I was doing circuits, as I had to bring the plane home, into a shorter runway, so I wanted to be ready. Its pretty heavy to fly, and after a number of circuits my arm was getting tired (no electric trim), so I did a few two handers - it is an option....

mad_jock
17th May 2012, 21:24
You see thats a good valid reason to be different.

So is pulling the handle to dump the glider.

Spraying your never above 200ft anyway and its so specialised you can do what the hell you like.

PPL hand on the tit please because i really can;t see anything that is going to endanger you more tha the lever jiggling back.

Pull what
21st May 2012, 12:55
Arrogantly dismissing all large aircraft operating practices as irrelevant to light aircraft flight training is iMO a disservice to the student.

Well said-in fact the only improvement to to light aircraft training over the last 20 years has come down via airline safety initiatives-post Kegworth