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Re: Hand on Shifter
In a message dated 97-04-18 18:38:37 EDT, you write:
<< I fly airplanes. I'm a licensed pilot (PPL). Pilots are taught to
keep one hand on the other controls - throttle, mostly - most of the
So what's your point ?
An aircraft unless Aerobatic ( exceptions like the
C152A of course ) has built in stabillity...
You can let go of the yoke/stick in trim level flight
and open the sectional chart and do some plotting
in flight, no big deal. At other times such as cruise
at altitude you will often find that flying hands-off is
best because the aircraft's stability will do a better
job of maintaing straight & level flight in smooth
air than a pilot can with occaisional inputs
That doesn't mean you can drive hands-off.
In primary flight training you are taught to keep your
hands where they will do the most good and be spring
loaded for action such as on final approach with one
hand on the throttle & on the throttle for takeoff to prevent
the knob/lever from engine vibration creeping just in case
the friction control isn't tight enough.
Note... keep your hands where they will do the most
good ie: the steering wheel, especially with rack & pinion
where a bump steer could possibly take the wheel
from your hand. In an accident people often end up
with broken thumbs or fingers because the wheel
got wacked and they had their hands wrapped around
the spokes instead of the rim. Next time there is a
race on TV check out the in car camera shots and
see where professional race drivers keep there hands.
I can assure you that none have their elbows on the
door while their hand is on the roof line. The only time they're
on the shifter... is when they're shifting. You've got a
lot more time to plan ahead for a downshift than for someone
taking your line.
<< I don't believe that the hand on the shift knob actually causes
any wear. It may have 20 years ago, but cars are designed to survive
normal, inadvertant, inputs now. >>
No they're not... Automotive stick shift technology is just like
aircraft piston engine technology... virtually stagnated in the '50s.
Manual transmissions are no longer cast iron boxes with monster
bearings that weigh a ton, perhaps the've been optimized for
bearing sizes for less rolling resistance ie: more fuel efficient but
the basic stuff is still the same, & I harldy think they are
more able to accept abuse.
Perhaps you are different, but if anything I found that both
riding motorcycles and flying airplanes made me one damn
poor lax driver... It's less demanding and sometimes boring
and although in my youth I could have gotten away from
the sheriff on Thunder Road that abillity has been tarnished
I'll admit it... Once on an anoying stretch of flat staright road
between corn fields, I folded the map and put it back
on the passenger seat of my Audi 4000s
( required Audi content ). I had opened it in front
of the windshield and checked out my progress just
like I would have done in an aircraft...
at 70mph, steering with my knee. If a nice large
buck had walked out of the corn I would have been
toast. When I realized what I had done I stopped
and changed my underwear.