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Standard Entry Procedures

 

Instrument Flying Handbook Menu >IFR Flight  >Holding Procedures>Standard Entry Procedures

The entry procedures given in the AIM evolved from extensive experimentation under a wide range of operational conditions. The standardized procedures should be followed to ensure that you remain within the boundaries of the prescribed holding airspace.

Reduce airspeed to holding speed within 3 minutes of your ETA at the holding fix. The purpose of the speed reduction
is to prevent overshooting the holding airspace limits, especially at locations where adjacent holding patterns are close together. The exact time at which you reduce speed is not important as long as you arrive at the fix at your preselected
holding speed within 3 minutes of your submitted ETA. If it takes more than 3 minutes for you to complete a speed reduction and ready yourself for identification of the fix, adjustment of navigation and communications equipment, entry to the pattern, and reporting, make the necessary time allowance.

All aircraft may hold at the following altitudes and maximum holding airspeeds:

Altitude (MSL) Airspeed (KIAS)
MHA – 6,000 feet 200
6,001 – 14,000 feet 230
14,001 feet and above 265

The following are exceptions to the maximum holding airspeeds:

1. Holding patterns from 6,001 to 14,000 feet may be restricted to a maximum airspeed of 210 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS). This nonstandard pattern will be depicted by an icon.

2. Holding patterns may be restricted to a maximum airspeed of 175 KIAS. This nonstandard pattern will be depicted by an icon. Holding patterns restricted to 175 KIAS will generally be found on IAPs applicable to category A and B aircraft only.

3. Holding patterns at Air Force airfields only—310 KIAS maximum, unless otherwise depicted.

4. Holding patterns at Navy airfields only—230 KIAS maximum, unless otherwise depicted.

5. Advise ATC if you need to exceed a maximum holding speed.

You may want to use the maximum endurance speed when executing a holding pattern in order to save fuel. However, there are several reasons why you would not want to use the maximum endurance speed for holding. You should use a speed for holding patterns that will give you good aircraft control without increasing workload, minimizing fuel burn (as much as possible), and provides a safe margin above stall.

While other entry procedures may enable the aircraft to enter the holding pattern and remain within protected airspace, the parallel, teardrop and direct entries are the procedures for entry, and holding recommended by the FAA. [Figure 10-6]

Figure 10-6. Holding pattern entry procedures.

1. Parallel procedure: When approaching the holding fix from anywhere in sector (a), turn to a heading to parallel the holding course outbound on the nonholding side for approximately 1 minute, turn in the direction of the holding pattern through more than 180°, and return to the holding fix or intercept the holding course inbound.

2. Teardrop procedure: When approaching the holding fix from anywhere in sector (b), fly to the fix, turn outbound using course guidance when available, or to a heading for a 30° teardrop entry within the pattern (on the holding side) for approximately 1 minute, then turn in the direction of the holding pattern to intercept the inbound holding course.

3. Direct entry procedure: When approaching the holding fix from anywhere in sector (c), fly directly to the fix and turn to follow the holding pattern.

Pilots should make all turns during entry and while holding at:

1. 3° per second, or
2. 30° bank angle, or
3. a bank angle provided by a flight director system.

 

 

Holding Instructions
Time Factors
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