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dcoded
11th Nov 2018, 19:02
I want to make a small non-empirical study here in this forum regarding some observations of my own.

Studies suggest that around 10% of all people are left handed.
Though I have noticed and came across quite many left handed pilots during my career so far.
Perhaps there is a bigger than 10% of all pilots who are left handed?

Lets make a small study here by answering in this thread!

I go first!

dcoded
11th Nov 2018, 19:03
Right handed!

Greeb
11th Nov 2018, 19:06
Left as is Father in law.

VP959
11th Nov 2018, 19:09
Right handed.

Once flew a two seat aeroplane with a weird centre stick arrangement, from the right hand seat, which meant flying with my left hand, with right hand on the throttle. Felt distinctly unnatural, a bit like left foot braking in a car the first few times you try it. Made me appreciate how odd it must feel for a left-handed person to fly with a "conventional" control arrangement.

Pontius Navigator
11th Nov 2018, 19:28
Cars.

We switch to LHD/RHD with equal facility.

One group of aircrew that are trained to be ambidextrous is radio operators. Operate morse key usually with right hand and write the log with the left.

chuks
11th Nov 2018, 19:40
Left-handed, as is my son, also a pilot.

Never really noticed a difference between flying from either seat, and I also seem to manage driving on either side of the road okay.

Years ago a coil spring jumped out of a compressor, hit my left hand, and left me without the use of it for about a week (nothing broken, just very badly swollen and bruised). I had to start shaving with my right hand then, and I never switched back. Now I find that I am right-handed when it comes to shaving; using my left hand is much clumsier.

Fitter2
11th Nov 2018, 19:46
Right handed, but 50 + years ago did my gliding instructors course, which meant flying the T21 (Sedburgh) left handed. Once I was used to that, flying either left handed or right made no difference, so flying from the left hand seat with centre throttle, or a centre stick like the Bolkow Junior from the right hand side felt quite natural.

Regarding driving, I'm quite happy on either (legal) side of the road, but in spite of many more miles of UK driving find it easier to adjust to European driving than returning to UK. Maybe I just automatically concentrate more.

Loose rivets
11th Nov 2018, 19:50
Left.

Ohhhhh, I had a huge BMW 7 series coil spring in the vice awaiting cotter insertion. Four proper clamps and Mole grips, woodwork clamps and probably knicker elastic. It started to tick and creak as I picked up the first cotter thingie. I still remember the cold sweat and the temptation to run out of the garage. I braved it out, but had I read your post all those years ago, I'd have got the @$#^ out.

Gertrude the Wombat
11th Nov 2018, 20:15
Never really noticed a difference between flying from either seat
On one occasion when flying something with the controls the "wrong" way round (for me) everything was fine whilst I was thinking about it, then on the first stall muscle memory took over and I shoved the nose down as far as it would go and opened the throttle about half way. The instructor didn't say anything - no need really, I knew what had happened.

n5296s
11th Nov 2018, 20:15
I'm right handed, but normally fly with my left-hand - as do most pilots I think. Left hand on the yoke, right hand for radios, throttle, etc. In something with a side stick (Cirrus, Airbus...) you have no choice. But if there's a stick I use my right hand. I've also flown side-stick aircraft from the right seat. I don't even notice. Can't even remember how I fly the Marchetti, which is unusual in putting the pilot on the right. Right hand on the stick I think. Not being a CFI, I've never seriously flown from the right side (except the Marchetti), don't know what I'd end up doing.

Same in the heli. Normal mode is left hand on the collective, right on the cyclic. But if I need my right hand for the radio, I lock the collective and put my left on the cyclic for the duration. Seems perfectly natural either way. I've never tried to hover left handed, since you need a hand on the collective anyway. Might be interesting to try with an instructor (to handle the collective).

Piper.Classique
11th Nov 2018, 20:16
Ambidextrous for flying, driving, and my strength is equal both arms. I can write more tidily right handed. Flying with a centre stick in the Stern Vega I have to fly right hand as there are no brakes rhs. So am learning to read my left hand writing.

obgraham
11th Nov 2018, 20:19
As another lefty, this has always interested me.

I learned two skills over the years. Surgery—-you adapt to the right handed nature of the instruments, though I usually worked from the opposite side of tbe table, and it’s tough to teach the scrub assistant how to load a needle left handed.

Flying was different, though mine was just recreational. Flying the 172 — left on yoke, right on throttle. Fine. But writing on that damn clipboard with left hand left me one hand short.

Maybe I should just have contnued on so I could use the a/p all the time? How did you lefty real pilots manage in your early days of training?

RVF750
11th Nov 2018, 21:11
Left. So is the Wife, and first three kids. Last one is right handed..... I have no problems driving LHD or RHD, and can fly from either seat just as badly......

Loose rivets
11th Nov 2018, 21:15
Yes, different things aspect. Left writing.

Right, golf, cricket, [email protected]%@ing, scissors, high notes on a piano, etc., etc.

Oh, left fondling breasts, though having dieted a lot of weight away, I don't do that anymore.

redsnail
11th Nov 2018, 21:52
Right handed. Qualified on both seats. Checkers is right handed too.

Innominate
11th Nov 2018, 21:57
I'm left-handed. Flew my first solo in the LHS of a Sedbergh; some years flew my second 'first solo' right-handed in a Ka 13, followed by Ka 8. Now flying a PA 28 with my left hand - the only difficulty is pressing the transmit button while holding a pen ready to write down QNH & squawk!

flash8
11th Nov 2018, 22:11
Well I am right handed, but about five years ago I sprained my wrist badly and had to use my left hand to write - bizarrely I continued this practice after recovery (as I could measure I was achieving progress which surprised me) forcing myself to use my left hand at least once a day to write... five years later I can write almost as well with my left hand as my right... I say almost but still a way off that I'll never match.

Has no practical use but it convinced me that even a right handed person with practice builds neural pathways (or whatever) to allow good left-hand co-ordination given the effort, good but never matching the right that is.

Gertrude the Wombat
11th Nov 2018, 22:19
Has no practical use but it convinced me that even a right handed person with practice builds neural pathways (or whatever) to allow good left-hand co-ordination given the effort, good but never matching the right that is.
After getting RSI in my right wrist I taught myself to use a mouse left handed. Difficult at first, but now I use the left hand at home and the right hand at work and don't get RSI any more.

BehindBlueEyes
11th Nov 2018, 22:19
I’m a leftie and find the whole ‘handedness’ thing fascinating. There’s a slight genetic tendency but as generally the figure of 10% of the population remains pretty constant it would seemthere are other influences. Apparently, we’re all varying degrees of left versus right. To test this, do the following:

Clasp your hands together. Which thumb is on top? If you unclasp and try with the opposite thumb, it just doesn’t feel right.

Fold your arms. Again, you will automatically favour your dominant forearm.

Put your hands behind your back, one holding the other. Which hand is doing the holding?


Imagine you are drawing back a bow and arrow. A latent leftie will pull back automatically with their left.

Which eye would you wink with, without consciously thinking about it?

I assume someone somewhere has done research into the proportion of left handers in different professions? The results would be very interesting to see. It certainly seems to be an advantage in many sports, but maybe that’s more to do with being in the minority.

Final thought. Statistically, more murders are left handed than right. :uhoh:

chuks
11th Nov 2018, 22:40
Beechcraft used to have the flap switch on the left and the gear switch on the right on some of their older aircraft, plus I think it was prop-throttle-mixture on the quadrant. Try your muscle memory on that sort of a layout!

FullOppositeRudder
11th Nov 2018, 23:01
Naturally right handed. Could only ever fly right handed; tried thermalling left handed on occasions - hopeless! However have driven tractors principally left handed (always looking over right shoulder at trailing implement) for thousands of hours - no worries.

ETOPS
11th Nov 2018, 23:48
This got me thinking .... on the ground I'm right handed - writing, holding a pint, driving etc. In the air completely ambidextrous. I reckon this is because I became an instructor soon after gaining my PPL. Also had various flying jobs that involved seat swaps on a daily basis so lots of exposure to left/right.
Only hiccup is flying from the left seat in an aircraft with a stick but a centre throttle - always feels odd and would be happier in the right seat:confused:

ShyTorque
12th Nov 2018, 00:25
Final thought. Statistically, more murders are left handed than right. :uhoh:
I could kill you for saying that....:E

;)

PPRuNe Towers
12th Nov 2018, 02:09
It has been studied in the past and the two main points derived were slight statistical over representation of left handed pilots and a stronger over representation by first born males. Not a gender thing just first children and samples available.

Rob

scubawasp
12th Nov 2018, 02:16
Left handed

Jamesel
12th Nov 2018, 03:37
Self - Right handed - ambi-sinister :rolleyes: in cockpit, Boeing Captain & little aeroplane instructor (tandem & side-by-side) & glider instructor
Wife - Right Handed - PPL & GPL
Father - Left handed, ex-fighter pilot, still current little aeroplane instructor & driver
Mother - Right handed, PPL
Brother #1 - Left Handed, CPL & C-150 owner
Sister #1 - Right handed, PPL & GPL
Brother #2 - Right handed, Student Pilot
Brother #3 - Left handed, ATPL, RJ Captain
Son #1 - Right handed, Student Pilot
None of us (except for brother #2) really noticed a preference for a particular layout, but all of us (except for Brother #2) had flown a wide variety of aircraft as teenagers or younger - left seat, right seat, left-hand throttle, right-hand throttle, left-hand stick, right-hand stick, left-hand yoke, right-hand yoke, etc.
Brother #2 came into flying later in life, and has a preference for the left seat, mainly (in my opinion) because that is where he is used to having the instruments & controls, rather than any physical preference - he displayed no problems in the right seat during a quick circuit.

ShotOne
12th Nov 2018, 07:33
Right handed. On airbus fbw (sidestick). Feel no difference/ difficulties swapping L-R seats day to day.

Fareastdriver
12th Nov 2018, 10:00
I've never tried to hover left handed, since you need a hand on the collective anyway. Might be interesting to try with an instructor (to handle the collective).

The Bristol Sycamore HAR14 was used as a basic helicopter trainer by the RAF. That had a central collective so the instructor in the LHS flew in with the left hand on the cyclic. It would take a couple of hours for them to get used to it on the instructors course.

We had one instructor who would do the flying display including torque turns etc.. He preferred to do this from the left hand seat so some poor airman was co-opted into the RHS as ballast and sit there watching the world go around, and around.......

BehindBlueEyes
12th Nov 2018, 10:12
Of all left handers, 23% more are male than female.


In his book Right-Hand, Left-Hand, Chris McManus of University College London (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_College_London) argues that left-handed people as a group have historically produced an above-average quota of high achievers. He says that left-handers' brains are structured differently (in a way that increases their range of abilities) and the genes that determine left-handedness also govern development of the language centers of the brain.

cattletruck
12th Nov 2018, 10:41
Try as I may but my spelling doesn't improve using either left or right hand.

pulse1
12th Nov 2018, 11:07
I assume someone somewhere has done research into the proportion of left handers in different professions?

During long, boring sessions of exam invigilation at my local university, I decided to carry out my own survey. I can't remember the exact numbers now but the average number of left handed students was about 15% and this only varied in the following examinations:

Accountants 11%
Lawyers 8%

This was a consistent result over several examinations which did not involve the same students. make of it what you will.

Hydromet
12th Nov 2018, 11:15
I've noticed that almost everyone who appears on TV writing, whether in a movie, series, news of documentary is writing with their left hand. I've wondered whether this is because there is a preponderance of left handed thespians, which doesn't account for those appearing on the news, or if left-handers are chosen for aesthetic reasons.

treadigraph
12th Nov 2018, 13:47
Although not a pilot, I've handled Cessna 152s and 172s and also been instructed on gliders. My left handedness didn't effect flying the Cessnas right handed; I also had a trial lesson in the l/h seat of a C152 and flew perfectly well with my left hand. However, flying gliders (K-13) right handed with a stick I found difficult, particularly during the aerotow; as my instructor pointed out, left hand is needed for the spoilers - I cant recall where the release was but I suspect it was better placed for the left hand to reach.

I write, use a spoon and would play the guitar left handed - but I use a mouse and play golf and cricket right handed - tennis/squash I'm ambidextrous...

I was a part of a pub quiz team with six or seven regular members, four of whom were left handed, hence our team name was often The Sinisters. On the occasions when the right handers balanced the left handers, we became Sinisters and Dexters.

dcoded
12th Nov 2018, 18:07
It has been studied in the past and the two main points derived were slight statistical over representation of left handed pilots and a stronger over representation by first born males. Not a gender thing just first children and samples available.

Rob

Interesting Rob!
That was my own assumption as well seeing guys signing the tech log after the flights it caught my attention that there are a lot of left handers in aviation!
Do you know where I could access this study? Would be interesting to read!

Thanks!