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129 of 134 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phantom Key Stroke Problem Solved?
Well I just did some research on this yoke and discovered that Sietek has resolved the phantom keystroke issue. New replacement units are shipping to all US distributers. If you happen to have a defective unit, per a post on Sietek's forum, owners are to call 310-972-9930 for return/replacement instructions. I am going to order one myself but am not sure if Amozon has the...
Published on January 4, 2008 by S. Kuprianczyk

versus
124 of 140 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Luck of the draw -- the "phantom key press " issue!
Things just went entirely too smooth and totally glitch free which should have signaled that this in itself was not a good omen! Basically I went from the CH Products yoke, throttle quad and CH rudder pedals to the SAITEK system and even bought an extra SAITEK throttle quad to then have '6' programmable axis levers and additional buttons to program. So too, and one of the...
Published on November 2, 2007 by Anthony J. Lomenzo


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129 of 134 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phantom Key Stroke Problem Solved?, January 4, 2008
This review is from: Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle (PZ44) (Personal Computers)
Well I just did some research on this yoke and discovered that Sietek has resolved the phantom keystroke issue. New replacement units are shipping to all US distributers. If you happen to have a defective unit, per a post on Sietek's forum, owners are to call 310-972-9930 for return/replacement instructions. I am going to order one myself but am not sure if Amozon has the new units yet. Sietec refused to post a current serial number of the defective lot but a person on the forums said that he just got his and is working flawlessly with a serial number of SZ005111624. This person with a "good" unit purchased his thru Newegg in CA.

Well I am going to place my order now and I will post an update when I get it up and running.

UPDATE: I recieved the yoke and pedals three days ago and after spending an hour or so configuring the unit I fired it up. The SN# I recieved was 00492657 a call to tech support assured me that I had a unit that had the phathom key stroke problem resolved.

I spent about a total of 20 hours flying around in several planes whith included single engine ceasna's all the way up to the heavy 747. I WAS NOT ABLE TO FIND ANY PROBLEMS WITH MY YOKE. I was very impressed with the quality and performance. I took a gamble but in my case I think it payed off.

Also for anyone wondering if this yoke works with a mac don't worry. I hooked the yoke up to my mac and am running xplane ver.9. The drivers were not needed it was simply plug n play. Xplane recognized the yoke and throttles with no problem. It was very simple to program.

I hope this helps.
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Feel. "Phantom Key presses" were easy to fix for me ...., May 2, 2008
This review is from: Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle (PZ44) (Personal Computers)
To start with, I wish I had purchased this setup much earlier. It feels so good and delivers such rock solid performance that I cannot imagine flying the civilian aircraft in FSX without it. If you want the C-172 to become as compelling as the P51 in your control, then this is the setup you'll want.

But I vacillated on this purchase for some time before buying it due to all the reviews reporting phantom key presses. I didn't want to order something I'd likely have to return or exchange. Although I love flying with my CH Fighterstick , Pro Throttle and Rudders when flying warplanes or helicopters, I always felt like I was missing out on the joy of civilian flight simulation when using a stick instead of a yoke. So I finally mustered up the courage to order the Saitek Yoke in spite of the many poor reviews while holding my breath on the "pkp" issue.

By the time I got mine, I had thoroughly familiarized myself with the scope of the phantom key press problem and the possible cures. I had hoped mine would not suffer the symptoms but those hopes were dashed very shortly after loading up my first flight with the new controls. Sure enough I had the dreaded phantom key presses switching my views. By a process of elimination - including flying other sims without any hitch, I concluded the issue lies within the FSX setup itself. I was right. Upon closer inspection I noticed two unusual controllers listed in my FSX control menu: "Mouse Yoke" and "Mouse Look". Each of those had mysteriously been assigned default button assignments which conflicted with what I had manually set up with the Saitek Yoke. Particularly, I noticed the "extend gear when throttle rapidly decreased" and "retract gear on rapid throttle increase" commands were assigned to a button in the "Mouse Yoke". I also had a large list of view commands mapped by FSX to buttons in the "Mouse Look" controller. All I had to do was clear each and every one of the "joystick assignments" in both and all was well.

I now have about 10 hours of flight without a hitch using the Saitek Yoke and even added a second throttle quadrant for even more enjoyment with multi-engine aircraft. I coupled these controllers with the book "Microsoft Flight Simulator X For Pilots Real World Training" and I began working through the lessons. The experience is unequalled in all the 20+ years of computer gaming I've done to date. The Saitek yoke made the entire experience more immersive and rewarding.

Needless to say, I strongly recommend this yoke and even the second throttle quadrant to go with it. The reviews to the contrary can be quite demoralizing, but it appears the fixes to all the woes were only all too easy in the end. If you're considering this setup and you ask me, I say go for it. You won't be sorry.
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124 of 140 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Luck of the draw -- the "phantom key press " issue!, November 2, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle (PZ44) (Personal Computers)
Things just went entirely too smooth and totally glitch free which should have signaled that this in itself was not a good omen! Basically I went from the CH Products yoke, throttle quad and CH rudder pedals to the SAITEK system and even bought an extra SAITEK throttle quad to then have '6' programmable axis levers and additional buttons to program. So too, and one of the biggies, at least for me and my sim flying, the SAITEK yoke uses a METAL pitch tube for the yoke pitch control and as opposed to the CH yoke which uses a plastic shaft and hence subtle yoke movement 'sticking' no matter what lubricant I placed on the plastic shaft so I switched to SAITEK and the METAL pitch shaft on bearings. Excellent!

And then ... coming into O'Hare and I hear the jet panel voice begin the "500 above" ... "400 above" ... suddenly from nowhere comes from the aircraft I was flying, "LANDING GEAR UP PLEASE!" ... say WHAT? You guessed it, the "random phantom key press" issue! SAITEK admitted on their own forum that this was a SAITEK yoke factory defect issue [see that forum AND Amazon user comments right here!] . You'll be flying along but when the yoke is turned [or straight ahead for that matter!], things begin to happen on their own! Hence the name "phantom key press" ! The landing gear can go up and down BY ITSELF or normally hat switch activated aircraft views begin to cycle by themselves without any input whatsoever by the user! A decided defect! Worse, SAITEK says some yokes are affected, others perhaps not! That really helps, yes? Sure!

Anyway, I now have to wait until December, 2007, for a replacement yoke and I have 30 days to return the defect item via an Amazon printed-out postage free return label. I was also given the option to wait for the replacement item or cancel the order. I'll wait because the yoke and its separately included 3 lever throttle quadrant is very nice! Problem is, the phantom key press issue is a major consideration because virtually anything can be activated or deactivated by itelf! It's like an unseen hand randomly pressing keys on your keyboard and the simulation acts accordingly!

But I'll still wait because I like the metal tube on bearings making the pitch smooth, the looks of the thing, the on-board three USB slots although the accompanying 3 lever throttle uses a sub-mini pin connector to the yoke, dunno why, because a separately purchased and hence 'by itself' identical 3 lever throttle SAITEK quadrant uses the USB connector. Had it not been for the phantom key press issue I would have rated the whole system [I have the yoke and separate throttle quadrant, a second throttle quadrant and the SAITEK rudder pedals] as "10" stars even though 5 stars is the max allowed. Hopefully, this phantom key press issue defect will be SAITEK factory corrected in a new series. I hope so anyway!

Doc Tony

UPDATE! A LOST CAUSE! A 'replacement' unit arrived and had the identical 'phantom key press' problem! Identical! Wheels going up and down by themselves, views cycling, knee board popping up, all happening at random and making the Saitek yoke/throttle worthless! This is a MAJOR DEFECT in this item and every single Amazon user without exception has commented on it! Every single one! Read it for yourself!

This is not the fault of Amazon but a failure of the Saitek folks to recall and correct a major defect in this product! This time, I returned the replacement for a refund and I'll stick to my CH Products yoke/throttle combination until Saitek can get their act and yoke together! Amazon has been great in this matter, can't ask for better, but they are being given a defective product to sell with known serious issues and issues that Saitek or their distributors have NOT corrected!

Quick clue! You'll know almost immediately if you have a defective Saitek yoke -- when the flight sim loads up and you're on the runway ready for take-off, press the pre-set BRAKE button on the yoke and if you get a sudden change of view from the cockpit where you then have to cycle back to the cockpit view, you have a defective "phantom key press" yoke. It then goes further downhill from there with random commands on its own eqaully random unassisted initiative! ZERO stars now! A defective product by engineering! Read right here at Amazon what the users themselves say! And consistently so for the same consistent problem!

Doc Tony
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Yoke, Worth the Money, But..., October 23, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle (PZ44) (Personal Computers)
Purchased the yoke, additional throttle and pedals. Pitch axis is a touch too tight, but other than that, very study and well constructed piece of hardware. The clock makes timed approaches and holds eaiser, and the fluid movement of the pitch/roll axis make hand flying approaches a lot of fun. However..

The unit I recieved is experiencing the same phantom key presses that others have reported. This behaviour is acknowledged by Saitek Support, and they indicate that it only affects some units and are not issuing a full recall. Phantom key presses are quite annoying (i.e. gear coming up on it's own when on a 1/4 mile final). I've tried the "fix" which seems to work for some (using a PCI USB card), to no avail.

One very positive note is Amazon's support. I e-mailed just asking if I should work directly through Saitek USA or Amazon for a replacement (as it's a Saitek acknowledged problem), nothing but an e-mailed question. The result was an e-mail from Amazon informing me that they were sending a replacement unit to me via overnight with instructions on how to send back my faulty unit.

My only worry now is that since bulk units were sent to Amazon, that the replacement yoke will have the same problem. Being that Amazon probably purchased in bulk, if the problem only affects certain serial number blocks, the odds are the replacement will have the same problem (Have a friend who bought same yoke on same day from different vendor, not experiencing this problem).If that's the case, I'll just either return for a refund with Amazon, or exchange directly with Saitek (when they get more in stock).

Other than the the phantom key issue, excellent product!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The SAD TEK Flight Yoke- should have Known better, November 16, 2007
This review is from: Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle (PZ44) (Personal Computers)
I have 3 words for this yoke, or I mean 3 letters...RMA. I don't know where to begin. First of all is 4:00 am and I have been screwing around with this thing for over 14 hours... urrrg. Yes you guessed it-phantom buttons. After all the warnings from you guys on here, I had to buy it anyway. But you see I thought I was getting a "new fixed" one. But guess what people, the are not.

I am a real pilot and I have used CH yoke for years. I know everone compains about it sticking(CH)but let me tell you what I did. I have tried to lube the elevator with all sorts of things. But the best thing I have found was vaseline and a paper towel. It has lasted for 6 months, smooth as silk.

Now the reason I bought this thing. My CH has worked great for 4 years, then all of the sudden my trim stopped working. I took it apart, and I tried to figure it out but then one of the micro wires broke on it. Tried soldiering it but no luck. Even holding the wires on gave no response. So I set out to buy a replacement and was hoping to upgrade to the Saitek.

I dont know if I am just use to the CH or what but I can grease any landing anywhere, mountain tops, between trees, sloping roads, and of couse dead center of the rwy (precisely i might add) The saitek, oh boy, I looked liked I have never flown a plane in my life, out of control.

But what I found really odd is that I CANNOT beleive that no one else on here or anywhere else has complained Royally about the DETENTS in the PITCH and AIRLERON AXIS! Everyone keeps talking about the stupid metal rod that makes everything smooth and better than the CH. I would honestly have to say that it is the most unrealistic feeling, and far from smooth (I would hate to even attempt a ILS with Saitek) My CH is so much smoother!!! The little "bump you feel" in the middle of the axis is so annoying. Its even more anoyying than my gear randomly coming down and my view changing at the same time while on short final. I think the detents should be removed. So after all the hype and excitement, I am so dissapointed and tired, that I am packing it up after 14 hrs of pure frustration.

Oh yea yea yea, one more thing. Just to let everyone know, I have set up the CH and the satiek side by side. to compare. The saitek looks way cooler. The yoke handle is way fatter, its nice. But what was interesting was the motion of travel. Airlerons where exact movents, both stopped the same. Elevator, having them both strapped down, the forward travel seems to move a little further (down elevator) than the CH. But the rearward motion (pulling back) The CH eeks out about an extra 1/2". It might be even smaller that that, but man what a difference that little bit is, like when you are hanging by the prop, landing in some rough terrain. I tried, everyithng to get this thing to fly smooth. All you could do is fly with the trim, but even that was all over the place.

Look like a drunk in the sky with this thing. Well there you have it from a real flying, Ch and Saitek owner.

On a lighter note, it is a great concept, love the throttles that "almost" worked. (most of the time my prop control was my rudder???? That made for some great ldgs.

Hate most

1.Detents in the pitch axis, and the airlerons.
2Random button
3This one is so annoying. After you spend 10 years assiging buttons, 1 minute later, they are all reassigned, all by themselves. Over and over.
4 Lack of ldg gear switch

Liked the most
1 Throttle, the feel

New Plan
I am hoping this is going to work, a New CH Yoke, 2 saitek throttles(hopefully will work by themselves) and stick to my CH pedals.

hope this helps -peace Mole man
Now I have wasted your time as much as Saitek wasted mine
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent flight yoke & phantom key issue resolved!!, February 12, 2008
By 
Paul J. Dargie (Perth, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle (PZ44) (Personal Computers)
Okay I must admit I was initially put off by the number of reviews and posts I'd read with regards to the notorious 'phantom key' issue, that is views intermitantly changing, gears going up and down etc. with no input from the user.

Although I believe CH Products make terrific flight controllers and I use the CH pro pedals, pro throttle and F-16 fighterstick I was attracted to the Saitek Yoke's larger, separate throttle, smooth metal shaft and multi-mode capabilities.

With some trepidation I purchased the unit on the proviso that I could return it hassle free should I have a 'defective unit'. Sure enough, within ten minutes of setting it and trialing it in both FS9 and FSX my views were changing randomly from once every minute to once every few seconds! I tried deleting the keys and re-programming them in FS and turning of the USB power saving fuction in Windows hardware manager but the problem persisted. Determined to get it working (as I was immediately impressed by the look, feel and movement of the yoke & throttle) I did a little research and discovered that by merely downloading and installing the latest versions of Pete Dowson's FSUIPC dll's for FSX and FS9 the phantom key press issue was resolved. As many MS Flight Simmer's may or may not be aware, Pete's FSUIPC is installed into the modules folder in the FS directories and tweaks/improves input, clouds, weather and interfaces many 3rd party addon's with MSFS. FSUIPC can be found at [...] I am currently using FSUIPC4 v.4.2.0.0 for FSX and FSUIPC v.3783 (beta) in FS2004 under XP SP2.

Where the problem has originated I cannot be sure but is a shame that an otherwise excellent product has had it's reputation and most likely sales tarnished by this unfortunate problem that the majority of users seem to have experienced. Without the frustration of the phantom keys issue this yoke is an outstanding product and a pleasure to use.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Two Units with phantom button pushes, November 2, 2007
By 
This review is from: Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle (PZ44) (Personal Computers)
First unit exhibited phantom button selections and was unusable. The Saitek web site was not helpful, and I was told to return unit for replacement by thier tech rep.
Return and replacement by Amazon went very smoothly. Good job there.
Second Unit had similar problems as well as x and y axis signal spikes that made control impossible. Have returned second unit for refund.
If you go to Saitek site as I did and try to move into forums, I was unable to get to the "good stuff" until I registered on the forum. So a casual look reveals no complaints; and a more determined investigation shows very few favorable users and a bunch of disgruntled users world wide.
One very troubling comment included photos of the interior of the yoke itself. Poor workmanship was in high evidence.
The yoke felt much better than the CH yoke, and I liked the position of the controls; but it didn't work. Hopefully, Saitek will get the quality control problems solved and this thing will become usable.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works perfectly, no issues, March 7, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle (PZ44) (Personal Computers)
If you've read any of my other reviews, you know how this one is going to go. I'll give you my expectations when I purchased it, and then give you the pros, cons, and the bottom line. When I looked for a flight yoke, I wanted the following: A smooth, realistic feel to the movements of the yoke, a realistic throttle quadrant to accompany it, enough buttons to work the flaps, gear, trim, etc. I wanted it to be realistic, but I also wanted a yoke that was utilitarian for flight simulators. I tried to find a bridge between the two. I wanted it to be of solid construction and not priced too high.

Pros:
Works perfectly with Microsoft FSX (plug and play ready)
Throttle quadrant relatively realistic
Plenty of assignable buttons for FSX functions
Center screen is a workable clock or chono (clock assigns time from your system time)

Cons
Kind of plasticky (but it seems sturdy enough)
The mount only attaches to surfaces that are maybe 2-2.5" deep. If you have a thick table, this might not attach.
Edging on the pricy side...

Bottom Line: After reviewing the variables and comparing to other yokes (like Saitek's Cessna Yoke or CH products yoke) I found this yoke to be the best bang for my buck. I would have preferred it to be a little cheaper, but I ended up being willing to pay a little more for this than, say, the CH products yoke because I wanted more buttons (which this one has) and a better throttle quadrant (The CH products yoke has a little mini throttle quadrant built in to the top of the yoke).
NOTE: Many have discussed the phantom key issue...I have had no such issue and judging by the reviews, it seems to have been resolved in late 2008..
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not work, October 25, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle (PZ44) (Personal Computers)
I do not recommend this product. Many people are having problems with random button presses. This makes the product unusable. I would be flying in MS Flightsim and all of a sudden, my landing gear could drop without warning, flaps move, etc.

I sent the product back after being told to do so by Saitek support.

As soon as I unplugged this product and went back to my old stick, the problem went away.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unusable due to dead zones, May 17, 2010
By 
This review is from: Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle (PZ44) (Personal Computers)
Two star, and that is without the phantom key issue... Coming from CH product, I was hoping the metal axle with "ball bearing" some reviewers mentioned would be a nice upgrade. However, there is no ball bearing, just the axle rubbing against two teflon/plastic rings, preventing smooth motions. The separate throttle quadrant with prop and mixture was also attractive to me. This is the only thing that prevented me from giving only one star, since this is a big step up and feels quite nice.

First, the "phantom key press". When I first received the yoke, it was in "mode 3". Not understanding why it came preset in "mode 3", I changed it to "mode 1" and starting flying. Not long after, I experienced the phantom key press (random view changes, gear up and down, etc.). Luckily, I had the presence of mind to return it back to "mode 3" and the problem vanished for good. I was ready to do some serious flying.

The clamp needed to secure the yoke to a desk is enormous and doesn't allow a keyboard drawer underneath. Hence, I had to drill holes in my desk and secure the yoke with 4 M4 screws (the yoke has 4 threaded holes designed for that)

Now for the really bad. The center detentes in the pitch and roll axes are just a joke. The force needed to get out of the center makes it unflyable since no small adjustments are possible near the center, mostly needed on final approach. The springs are strong and are not like in the CH yoke product. Once centered, it is very difficult to move out smoothly, making small correction nearly impossible. With the CH Yoke, motions near the center position have the least resistance, as it should. It's the opposite with the Saitek.

After just a couple hours of this, I decided to open the yoke and remove all the springz responsible for this crazy strong centering (no warranty needed for me). The feel was much better, smooth in both axis. BUT, as it turns out, it doesn't matter whether the springs are there or not, Saitek has a dead zone BUILT IN. When calibrating the flight controller and reducing the dead zone to its minimum, the dead zone is still significant and the yoke won't respond to any motion within 5-10 degree on both side (pitch or roll). That means no fine adjustments are possible when flying a final approach, even without the crazy springs!!!. Mostly unusable for flying, and since this is a flying yoke, just plain unusable.

I'll go back to my CH yoke which has no dead zone and for which I have a new appreciation (but also no throttle quadrant).
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Saitek Pro Flight Yoke with Three-Lever Throttle (PZ44)
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