• NC Software is having a Black Friday Sale Event thru December 4th on Logbook Pro, APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook, Cirrus Elite Binders, and more. Use coupon code BF2020 at checkout to redeem 15% off your purchase. Click here to shop now.
  • NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.

Overcontrolling...

mwwest2004

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Posts
20
Hello,

I recently began taking lessons to become a pilot down in South Louisiana (being instructed by Charlie Hammonds at HUM for those familiar with the area). Its going pretty well, and I love every minute of it. I am up to about 7 hours now and have been having trouble with keeping the airplane on course and level. I tend to over control, causing a lot of up and down and side to side movement as I try to correct to the proper heading or altitude. The problem became more noticeable when we began practicing approaches for landing today. I was just wondering if anyone has any tips as far as holding headings and altitudes and making corrections more smoothly (maybe something I can do between lessons).

Thank you for your help.
 

rw2

New member
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Posts
4
Total Time
20
For me it was a matter of unlearning the kinds of control movements that need to be made in a car. In stead of flying by moving the yoke, I found my tendency to over control went away by making sure to apply consistent pressure and give the plane a moment to respond.
 

MauleSkinner

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2005
Posts
638
Total Time
10,000
stick your elbow on the armrest, or wedge it between your body and the door. Gives you a good reference point for how much control input you've used, and encourages smaller movements with the wrist, hand, and fingers rather than controlling from the shoulder.
 

nosehair

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2003
Posts
1,238
Total Time
24/7
Hold,..don't grip,..hold the yoke lightly with the fingers. Lightly, but firmly, ..as you would a small child. Make gentle urging pressures, ..as you 'feel' the airplane's response...
 

mwwest2004

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Posts
20
Thanks for the responses...I'll see if I can keep those in mind during my next lesson on Monday...if anyone has any other tips on this matter, or flying/training in general, let m know...

Thanks.
 

kf4amu

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Posts
3,074
Total Time
250
Don't move the yoke, just add pressure. Airspeed will determine how much the yoke actually moves, but you'll probably find the airplane requires the same amount of pressure to do what you want, no matter what airspeed.
 

Goose Egg

Big Jens
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Posts
1,719
Total Time
3k-ish
Good advice so far. I would just add that this is something that will definitely come to you with a little more practice, so don't let it frustrate you. We all went through this to one degree or another.

And another way of looking at things is to "let the airplane do the work." It's not as if the airplane will all of a sudden go into a nose-dive if you let go of the controls. It wants to stay in the air. All you need to do is make minor inputs to help it stay pointed in the right direction at the right altitude.

Good luck,
-Goose
 

JAFI

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Posts
964
Total Time
8000+
This might be a little early for you (a pre solo student) but I would teach my primary students how to fly with just trim and rudder pressure. This teaches them to use the trim all the time and how little pressure it really takes to fly an aircraft.

What does your Instructor recommend?

Know that overcontrolling is normal for a student pilot and it will be less with experience. Just hang in there and think about what you are doing and always try to fly better with each lesson.
 

brokeflyer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
2,374
Total Time
1501
the airplane will fly itself.....you just make the adjustments to fine tune it.

like the others said, the best thing is to "feel" the yoke, dont death grip it.
 

Lynxman

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Posts
747
Total Time
....
It seems so frustrating and even tiring at first but with time it will come naturally. Don't give up I felt the exact same way.
 

Princedietrich

Retired Starchecker
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Posts
1,437
Total Time
Enough
A trick that my first instructor taught me was to hold a pencil between my fingers. It's much easier to show it than to describe it, but basicly the pencil was behind my index and pinkie and in front of my middle and ring fingers. The end result was that if I put too much pressure on the controls, which would lead to overcontrolling, it would hurt like hell on my fingers.
 

SpauldingSmails

Aboard the sloop.
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Posts
1,278
Total Time
>7000
Yeah, the pencil trick can work wonders... like prince said, hold it horizontally across the top of your index and middle fingers using your index and pinky finger.

I tend to think of it as "nudging" the controls as opposed to moving them.

By the by, if you really want to master your "pressure technique", flying an FTD (simulator) will make you tone down your motions pretty quick.

Flying very smoothly is really a skill though and it will take you time and usually some conscious effort... so fear not.
 

TimsKeeper

Registered Abuser
Joined
Dec 14, 2003
Posts
290
Total Time
8000
trim trim trim

Make sure you are trimming the aircraft properly...that will take 50 percent of the corrections out automatically.

When you hold the yoke your hands are generally on the outsides of the controls surface....your movements are much greater at the furthest points as opposed to if you hold the yoke closer to the middle. Warning : do not do this except in safe regimes....i.e. don't try to land like this! But, if you do this while up at altitude for awhile until you are a more experienced, hopefully smoother pilot you will find your corrections to be minimized.

Take everybody's tips and just get through your current stage of training. You are probably making a lot out of nothing and these types of things will improve with time.

Good Luck
 

FLYHY

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Posts
54
Total Time
.02868
You should be able to fly with just your thumb, index finger, and middle finger. Students tend to grip, especially in the beginning, and generally hold the yoke too tight.

Also don't focus on heading and altitude - look outside! About the only thing you should worry about referencing on final is your airspeed indicator. Perhaps your instructor could have you fly a long final, about 5 miles. Establish yourself early in the final configuration, intercept the VASI/PAPI, have him/her cover the instruments and just get a 'feel' for bringing the plane in.

Most importantly, and it took a wise instructor to teach me this, "Flying is meant to be fun, not work. If you are gripping the yoke too hard, you are not having fun."
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
All very good advice. What you speak of is common for student pilots. They tend to overcontrol. Use fingertip control pressures vs. hand movements. The less flying (controlling) you do, the better. There isn't such a need to rock back and forth or oscillate on the controls all the time. This is a misconceptiopn that you need to be constantly moving your controls. Try to get the plane in the attitude you want, hold the pressures and trim them out. You should theoretically be striving for hands off flying or close to it where the plane can mantian its heading and altitude in smooth air.
 
Top