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Hand on collective?

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Hand on collective?

Old 9th Aug 2019, 22:02
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Hand on collective?

As a PPL(H), I was taught to always have my left hand on the collective (unless using it to do something flying related, like tune the radio or pick up the map).

I was recently watching some YouTube videos in which a CPL(H) regularly takes their hand off the collective and rests it on their thigh. It struck me as a very odd habit to get into.

How common is this?
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 22:27
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If you're flying a low inertia rotor (like the 22) then you should keep your hand close enough to get the collective down before you have time to say,..."what the fu,...!"

Flying the 22 myself I don't hold onto the collective for the entire flight. I don't rest my hand on my leg either, like in those videos (yeah I've seen them too) but I do rest it on the edge of my seat with my fingers lightly touching it,...or holding it up 'cause the damn thing keeps wanting to fall down!

Anyway, don't take too much stock in what you see on youtube, those pilots don't usually represent the best of us
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 22:27
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A very low inertia rotor head requires a quick response time should there be a loss of engine power....thus the closer the hand to the collective the better.

A high inertia rotor system is far more forgiving in that regard thus more time to get the Lever down than in a Low Inertia Rotor system.

Some aircraft can develop a vertical oscillation if the collective friction is too loose with a hand on the Collective.

Ever watch a Crane Operator and how they manipulate the controls ....and keep their hands on the controls of the crane?

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Old 10th Aug 2019, 01:13
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I always figured the manufacturer went to great expense to install a hand rest on the left, so why not use it, other duties allowing. Engine failure in a twin in the cruise can be just as exciting as in a Robbie.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 01:21
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Hand off the collective in cruise flying bell mediums. I have time to take a nap, and grab a snack after both engines quit, before I need to worry about rotor RPM. In the 139 the collective is coupled to the flight director, so you shouldn't have your hand on it (or your feet on the pedals).
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 04:38
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Originally Posted by Ewan Whosearmy View Post
As a PPL(H), I was taught to always have my left hand on the collective (unless using it to do something flying related, like tune the radio or pick up the map).

I was recently watching some YouTube videos in which a CPL(H) regularly takes their hand off the collective and rests it on their thigh. It struck me as a very odd habit to get into.

How common is this?
Typical IFR habit.

In IFR we fly by numbers.

For example, in a 212 set 85%Q for the climb. You should lose 2%Q per 1000 feet.

If you are NOT losing 2%Q per 1000 you are picking up ice.

I have seen a 212 GAIN 10%Q in 1000 feet which lets you know you are pickin' up a ton of ice.

So after a rig takeoff at sea level and a climb at the initial power setting of 85%Q you arrive at 5000 with 80%Q.

Was that you moving the collective or is it ice?

Same thing on descent.

For example, set 50%Q and you should gain 2%Q per 1000 feet of descent.

If you are not gaining 2%Q per 1000 feet you are picking up ice.

Same thing for cruise - set power and take your hand off the collective. Q should stay the same until you move the collective. If Q starts to climb you are picking up ice.

This method tells you if you are picking up ice in climb, cruise or descent, and more importantly, how much and how rapidly.

If you keep your hand on the collective the tendency is to move it. Most IFR instructors I know suggest that you set desired power and take your hand off the collective​​​​​​.

We used the same procedure the same on 214ST, 58, 61, 76.

​​​​​​Edit: After reading the other responses I would add that your hand should be on your left thigh. So while it is off the collective it is close if you need to act quickly.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 07:47
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Left hand palm down, thumb across left knee, fingers curled around the front of the lever. Supports the arm, supports the lever if needed, and certainly lets me know if it moves or the dopey student is doing something silly.

In a B206, if I needed to do something with my left hand, radios, switches etc, move left thigh out to hold against the lever.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 09:06
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I think this topic is overstated.
When you are driving, your foot is on the accelerator. If something happens in front of you it takes a heartbeat to move the foot to the brake pedal.
If you are sitting concentrating with your hand on your knee and some malarkey with the engine goes down then you should easily react in time.
Where this goes wrong is generally in the MEH world where the PF is far too involved in an OEI diagnosis and actions and his brain does not reconfigure quick enough to the second engine failing.
In the commercial world we at least get he opportunity in FSTDs to practise this and improve the startle effect. Sadly in the private world of robbies etc, they do not get this kind of opportunity.
Therefore if I was a Robbie drive I would try to keep my hand on or near the collective.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 10:23
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Depends what you fly and how possessed the lever is.
It's no big deal on an aircraft with some mass that behaves itself, applying some extra friction and resting your hand on your leg is better posture in the cruise and a non-event to slide It over a couple of inches when required.
Startle effect is more about processing that you need to take action than the additional tenth of a second it will take to move your hand the extra inch.
What gets taught and what is practical in the real world aren't always the same thing.

Last edited by Bell_ringer; 10th Aug 2019 at 15:24.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 15:20
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Originally Posted by Old Dogs View Post
Typical IFR habit.

In IFR we fly by numbers.

For example, in a 212 set 85%Q for the climb. You should lose 2%Q per 1000 feet.

If you are NOT losing 2%Q per 1000 you are picking up ice.

I have seen a 212 GAIN 10%Q in 1000 feet which lets you know you are pickin' up a ton of ice.

So after a rig takeoff at sea level and a climb at the initial power setting of 85%Q you arrive at 5000 with 80%Q.

Was that you moving the collective or is it ice?

Same thing on descent.

For example, set 50%Q and you should gain 2%Q per 1000 feet of descent.

If you are not gaining 2%Q per 1000 feet you are picking up ice.

Same thing for cruise - set power and take your hand off the collective. Q should stay the same until you move the collective. If Q starts to climb you are picking up ice.

This method tells you if you are picking up ice in climb, cruise or descent, and more importantly, how much and how rapidly.

If you keep your hand on the collective the tendency is to move it. Most IFR instructors I know suggest that you set desired power and take your hand off the collective​​​​​​.

We used the same procedure the same on 214ST, 58, 61, 76.

​​​​​​Edit: After reading the other responses I would add that your hand should be on your left thigh. So while it is off the collective it is close if you need to act quickly.
What are you smoking?

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Old 10th Aug 2019, 17:30
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Originally Posted by 212man View Post
What are you smoking?
Same stuff all the other Canadian pilots in the Arctic and the East Coast were smoking.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 17:58
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Originally Posted by 212man View Post
What are you smoking?
By your comment I suspect you have NEVER flown an IFR helicopter in icing conditions. 😏
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 18:34
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Originally Posted by Old Dogs View Post
By your comment I suspect you have NEVER flown an IFR helicopter in icing conditions. 😏
You suspect wrongly, although the types I flew actually had icing clearances. My comment was more aimed at the totally random and out of context comments to a question from a PPL holder about whether it was wise to take your hand off the collective of a light helicopter.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 18:39
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Originally Posted by 212man View Post

You suspect wrongly, although the types I flew actually had icing clearances. My comment was more aimed at the totally random and out of context comments to a question from a PPL holder about whether it was wise to take your hand off the collective of a light helicopter.
My IFR experience was before we had "icing clearances".

In any case, I answered the lad's question.
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 05:04
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As I Actually know 212Man....I will go with his response!

(Two Dogs I do not know}

Last edited by SASless; 11th Aug 2019 at 17:29.
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 05:15
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
As I Actually know 212Man....I will go withnhisvresponse!

Two Dogs I do not know}
As you wish, but this was common practice all the years I did this work.

Every training captain I knew, and I was one, taught the same technique.

I know of no other way to determine rate or volume of ice accretion.

VFR, on the other hand, we generally taught to keep one's hand on, or close to, the collective.

Hence my explanation to the young lad as to why one might, or might not, keep one's hand on the collective.

Not sure what the "Two Dogs" reference means.
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 07:24
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Why do you ask, 2 Dogs?

It's the (abbreviated) punchline of an old joke.
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 17:38
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
Why do you ask, 2 Dogs?

It's the (abbreviated) punchline of an old joke.
Sorry, I have never heard the joke.
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 18:12
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It would just go right over your Head!
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 18:17
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
It would just go right over your Head!
Thanks for that explanation. Very helpful.
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