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Bob Grimstead
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Location: Perth, Western Australia or West Sussex, England
Registered: Dec 2006
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Posts: 1671

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Posted Monday, September 19, 2011 @ 06:12 AM  

Hi Guys,

In a word, 'don't' ----- don't grip the stick, that is.

The Fournier's controls are so light you only need to caress the stick between your finger and thumb, especially when flying aerobatics. This is NOT a Decathlon which you have to wrestle around the sky.

The only problem with holding the stick so lightly is that you might lose your grip under negative G.

For months I've been meaning to mention the way I hold my Fourniers' sticks.

They both have the original type of 'bicycle' or 'top hat' hard plastic grip on the top of the stick (like this one of Collin's, which is similar but made of rubber).

http://sbeaver.com/cgi-bin/fournier/cutecast.pl?session=PPmULtw1WLWurvw1v0JuFmYEfv&forum=17&thread=337

When holding the stick for aerobatics I lightly curl three fingers and my thumb around the top part of that plastic grip, but hook my little finger under the 'brim' of the 'top hat', so that it won't slide off upwards even under minus three G.

This is just something to think about when replacing your stick grip.
Stay with the original top-hat shape, and you will be OK.

Yours, Bob

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Bob Grimstead
Captain

Gender: Male
Location: Perth, Western Australia or West Sussex, England
Registered: Dec 2006
Status: Offline
Posts: 1671

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Posted Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 09:43 PM  

...and if you use some other kind of stick grip, like perhaps a moulded hard plastic or wooden one, be CERTAIN to fix it with at least one screw.

When I bought our red one, the wooden grip came off in my hand.
It was 'held on' by PVC electrical tape!

Rupert Wasey wrote off his Flitzer when his stick grip came off in his hand during the landing flare.

and now my buddy David Brown had the stick grip come off in his hand in a One Design during a square loop.

For some reason there are idiots out there who will push a wooden grip on to a steel tube control column and assume that, because it is initially a tight fit, it will stay in place without any proper fixing.

Wood shrinks, haven't you heard?

So be sure those grips are properly fixed.

They're the only connection between you and the airplane!

Yours, Bob

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SteveBeaver
General

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Location: Columbus, Ohio - USA
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Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 10:21 AM    YIM

Not really pertinent to your discussion, but some years ago I did the first flight and subsequent testing of an amateur built Pitts S1C. It turned out to be the most delightful flying Pitts I have ever flown, and light as a feather.

When I first went to look over the aircraft a week or so before it first flew, I found the builder had made a couple of choices that just weren't going to work. One was he had installed a huge Scott tailwheel on the back, which was so large, the aircraft was at fast cruise angle of attack sitting on the ramp.

The second was that having a son who was a proud naval aviator, the builder had installed a stick grip liberated from an F4 phantom. The thing was huge. Bristling with buttons and switches, my fingers could barely fit around it. Happily, it found a home on the builder's mantlepiece instead.

Bob Grimstead
Captain

Gender: Male
Location: Perth, Western Australia or West Sussex, England
Registered: Dec 2006
Status: Offline
Posts: 1671

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Posted Sunday, December 27, 2015 @ 10:18 PM  

Don't laugh, but for the first time in thirteen years, and despite wearing sweat-absorbing suede sailing gloves and curling my little finger under that 'top-hat's brim' of my stick grip as usual; half-way around a low-level slow roll during practice, my fist shot off the stick as I pushed it towards the front right corner of my cockpit.
I do know why. I was flying a super-slow roll, which requires less than full aileron, but lots more rudder and elevator to hold the nose above the horizon.
I had not used quite enough top rudder in the first quarter, which had allowed my nose to fall too low during the inverted part, so while still applying plenty of right aileron I needed a stronger-than-usual shove forward to get the nose back up before the second half.

Imagine the scene: I am just becoming upside-down at 500 feet when I punch the choke and fuel knobs while the stick, released from my grip, bounces back into the mid-position under the significant aerodynamic loads. Of course I am looking outside at the time.

It probably only took two seconds, but it seemed like a lifetime for my eyes to drag themselves inside, refocus, adjust to the darkness (inverted, remember), and establish the stick's position. Meanwhile my clenched fist is curving inwards and grabbing, grabbing, trying to reestablish contact with the stick grip.

Finally eyes and hand do their thing, the stick is grasped and pushed back firmly into the front right corner of the cockpit and the roll continues and completes without too much further loss of height.

Another lesson learned there guys.

Yes, you only need a featherlight fingertip grip on the stick, but when upside-down and pushing 2.5g, maybe a slightly tighter grip is appropriate.

G-meter reading? A little less than 3g as it happens.

Safe flying out there folks.

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