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Old 10-05-2010, 07:23 PM   #11
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Re: Pucker factor and shaking thumbs

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I don't think there is any real trick to this except fly and burn gas, after the first 1000 flights you will likely calm down a bit. Partly you need to accept that you cannot beat normal physiology and if you feel nervous your heart will race and your hands will shake, just let them shake and as the flight goes on they will likely settle down a bit. Take a few deep breaths and loosen up as best you can then go for it.

As for maiden flights I still get nervous until I see where the plane will go and how much trimming it will take to fly straight and level. Take your time and do a good pre-flight check, make sure the servos all function the right directions and the control surfaces are all as close to neutral as possible. I cannot count the times that someone has asked me to fly their new plane I find the ailerons reversed or the throws are either not enough or too much . A lot of good solid preparation at home saves anxiety at the field.

Main thing is to try and focus that nervous energy on enjoying this hobby. Life is too short .........
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Murphy's Law #4 - If you fool around with a thing long enough it will break.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:40 PM   #12
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Re: Pucker factor and shaking thumbs

I've kind of always been able to get around that except on my first flight at an IMAC contest. I always seem to do my best on my first flight at a contest but my heart rate is way up and I end up having the shakes after the flight. After that I'm fine.

Regular flying and goofing around, I can easily carry on a conversation. But then, I can do that while in my back-swing at the golf course. Just a little talent I've got, lol.

Being comfortable with the plane is the key, I think.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:22 PM   #13
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Re: Pucker factor and shaking thumbs

Ya, nothing but more flying will help.

Fortunately maiden a plane the feeling I do not think will go away. That is a scary point in your flying hobby. As everyone hopes the plane will last more than 1 flight in mint condition. I have been fortunate.

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Old 10-05-2010, 08:24 PM   #14
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Re: Pucker factor and shaking thumbs

Yup same thing happened to me years ago. I missed one summer of flying which added up to about a year and 8 months without flying. I bought a new plane and took it out for it's maiden. (cessna 95" span w/G26) I took off and my thumbs started shaking so bad that it was becoming hard to control the plane. It was funny in a way because it felt very similar to how my knee bounces up and down while sitting sometimes and the harder I try to stop it the worse it gets, until I relax and then it stops. Well that's exactly how my thumbs felt, I took a long slow deep breath and exhaled all the air out of my lungs and then another couple of these. I also relaxed my arms and let my neck strap hold the transmitter and also relaxed my hands. Instantly my thumbs stopped wobbling all over. It was also funny when I realized that I wasn't even using the neck strap because I was holding the transmitter up at chest height and gripping it like I was opening a fresh jar of jam!
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:29 PM   #15
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Re: Pucker factor and shaking thumbs

It has been a while since I felt nervousness as well. Like other experneice fliers say- the more fuel you burn, the btter you are able to handle it.

What did make me laugh when I read the original post was that I remember feeling that way when I was a lot younger. The nervousness, the wobbly knees, the heart-in your throat feeling. HA HA. It kept you on your toes... Keep at it- as the confidence grows, the nervousness fades.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:47 PM   #16
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Re: Pucker factor and shaking thumbs

I think a touch of nerves is good! It means you are paying attention to what is happening and applying yourself. Being too relaxed can potentially result in being a bit blase and not focusing on the task at hand; flying safely.

One thing mentioned above rarely makes me nervous: dead stick landings. I land dead stick as well or better than I do with power. (Go figure) Probably that is because I have had so many of them!
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:58 PM   #17
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Re: Pucker factor and shaking thumbs

..actually my biggest problem is starting the day off with a big coffee from Second Cup. I've flown the odd time without that ritual and definitely have calmer hands!
Dean Myers
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:30 AM   #18
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Re: Pucker factor and shaking thumbs

Hey Mark , I know what you mean, I fly best alone, I can concentrate at what I am doing give myself goals to work on... As soon as there are spectators or other fliers, I do not get shaky any more about my flying, like I use to, I trust my self now that I am comfortable, but I get distracted, talk and loose concentration. As you get better and more comfortable the jitters will not comback as often, they will be gone completely when you believe that you can fly as well as anyone around you.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:52 AM   #19
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Re: Pucker factor and shaking thumbs

Thanks for all the great thoughts guys. I think that Dave's right, a little bit of nervers is a good thing as complacency would be worse. Dean's also right...at least for me too...a large double double on the way to the field in not a good thing!

Dan, I like flying alone too but I'm just as comfortabel flying with regular flying buddy. As soon as a couple of looky loos walk up start talking while I'm flying then the jitters start. The other day, my buddy was flying and a looky walked right up to him and started asking the usual questions...how high who fast etc etc. I jumped right in the rescue my buddy, pulled the looky look aside and told hinm to talk to me, not to buddy, at least till he gets 'er on the ground.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:06 PM   #20
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Re: Pucker factor and shaking thumbs

Mark: I read your message a few hours ago and thought I had nothing to add. However, for the last half hour I have been flying on my simulator and suddenly I thought of your situation. Do you have a simulator? If not, I strongly urge you to consider purchasing one. When most of us learned to fly there was no such thing. I find it a fantastic tool for gaining confidence before trying a new manoeuvre at the field. I bet if you spent a half hour to an hour on it a day, plus continue flying at your field as often as possible, you will soon solve your problems to your satisfaction. My simulator has really helped me become a more confident and better pilot. Cheers. . .
Ancaster Sport Flyer... "your attitude affects your altitude!"
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