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Holding Patterns  
User currently offlineLee From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 148 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2894 times:

As many will know when landing at LHR you are often put in a holding pattern. How many other airports suffer these problems, I've never experienced it anywhere else if i recall correctly, thanks

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1082 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2881 times:
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Most Major Airports have Holding Patterns in their STAR Procedure. If they get used or not depends on how busy the airport is.


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User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2815 times:

The odd thing is, I've only once been in a holding pattern on approach to LHR - and that was one circular circuit (not racetrack) which suggested spacing rather than holding. Flown in numerous times, both short and long haul.

Geoff M.


User currently offlineGoinv From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 264 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2732 times:

Flying into LAX a few years ago from JFK, ATC started to sequence planes from almost as far out as Las Vegas. We were told to reduce speed to fit into ATC restrictions. I suppose when there's more ground (area) to play with they can do things like that.
At Heathrow (and many other British/European) airports, the space is quite limited - I can't imagine ATC advising a northbound bound service (from Africa for example) to start sequencing as far out as Geneva!



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User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2729 times:

When stapelton was in operation at Denver, I remember they were notorious for making planes circle. I haven't heard of any real traffic jams in the U.S. of late, though.

User currently offlineWoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1041 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2690 times:

In the US at least, if there is going to be a delay at major airport, ATC will institute a ground delay/ground stop program in which it controls the departures of aircraft headed into the affected delay area. The idea is to hold people on the ground rather than having them hold in the air. So hopefully this minimizes the amount of time aircraft have to hold.


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User currently offlineMrChips From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 932 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2652 times:

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 1):
Most Major Airports have Holding Patterns in their STAR Procedure. If they get used or not depends on how busy the airport is.

Adding to that, I would wager good money that nearly every airport throws aircraft into the hold more often than most people think.

Also, holds can be given to aircraft transiting the airspace as well, not just arrivals...Don't know how many times Edmonton Centre has done that to me, but it's more than I like, I'll tell you that.



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User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3527 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2637 times:

a hold is actually quite rare. even on busier days, the odds that you get a hold are pretty pretty remote. Pretty much holds are issued when airports are closed, and/or bad weather is in the area. I heard a Pinnacle CRJ get one near O'hare a few months ago and he had no idea what was going on...heres what it sounded like:

ATC: Pinnacle XYZ hold 10 miles north of the O'hare VOR on the 360 radial, expect further clearance 10 mins from now.
Pinnacle XYZ: okay so, hold 10 miles north of O'hare on the 360 radial...so, is the 360 the outbound of the inbound heading?
ATC: Pinnacle XYZ okay, the 360 is the inbound heading in the hold, and you make right turns, your outbound heading is 180, and you make a direct entry. think you can handle that?
Pinnacle XYZ: hey thanks, okay so hold 10 North of ORD 360 radial, EFC time one-zero mins from now.


you talk to some pilots and they won't see a hold for 3 years and then one day they get like 3 or something awful like that, and then anothe hold dryspell



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User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2625 times:

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 7):
ATC: Pinnacle XYZ hold 10 miles north of the O'hare VOR on the 360 radial, expect further clearance 10 mins from now.
Pinnacle XYZ: okay so, hold 10 miles north of O'hare on the 360 radial...so, is the 360 the outbound of the inbound heading?
ATC: Pinnacle XYZ okay, the 360 is the inbound heading in the hold, and you make right turns, your outbound heading is 180, and you make a direct entry. think you can handle that?
Pinnacle XYZ: hey thanks, okay so hold 10 North of ORD 360 radial, EFC time one-zero mins from now.

That clearance is missing some critical information. If that's really what the controller said, then the pilot is justified in asking the question.

On the other hand, that's probably not what ATC really said, and that pilot was probably one of the 500 hour wonders from Gulfstream who paid a fat wad of cash to warm a seat that is required to have a pilot in it on an airplane with paying passengers. I wonder what the passengers would think if they knew that anyone with a big enough checkbook could "fly" that airplane?



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User currently offlineEfohdee From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2625 times:

On many occasions I hear aircraft talking to Atlanta reading back holding instructions for holding at LaGrange as published (as in the STAR), 15 mile legs, expect further clearance at whenever, etc. I cant hear the controller but I hear many of the aircraft.

User currently offlineUbiDenmark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2603 times:

For what it's worth, I fly into LHR every week (as a passenger) and I can only recall very few occasions over many years when we have not had to fly a holding pattern over Bovingdon or Lambourne for at least five minutes and more often ten to fifteen.

User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3527 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 2561 times:

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 8):
That clearance is missing some critical information. If that's really what the controller said, then the pilot is justified in asking the question.

as i said, it has been a few months since i overheard this situation, and therefore i am not able to cite ATC or the pilot word for word. i was simply stating that in the United States for the lay airline pilot holds do not happen on a regular basis.



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User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 2526 times:

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 11):
as i said, it has been a few months since i overheard this situation, and therefore i am not able to cite ATC or the pilot word for word. i was simply stating that in the United States for the lay airline pilot holds do not happen on a regular basis.

I'm just saying that you may have heard wrong, because airlines usually place an emphasis on knowing how to hold, especially regional airlines since they fly to places that require holding more often than mainline airlines do. If you're flying into an airport with no radar coverage under IFR conditions, and you're not the only one there, then chances are good that you'll have to hold. Screwing up the hold can be punished by death.



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User currently offlineAjaaron From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2489 times:

Quoting Geoffm (Reply 2):
The odd thing is, I've only once been in a holding pattern on approach to LHR - and that was one circular circuit (not racetrack) which suggested spacing rather than holding.

Sometimes ATC at LHR ask inbound flights to make 1 orbit over LAM, BNN, BIG or OCK and then leave on the assigned heading.

They do this when they dont require the flight to fly the complete racetrack pattern, as orbiting is slight quicker.


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 2476 times:
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To answer the thread starter's questions :

1/-As many will know when landing at LHR you are often put in a holding pattern

Yes, a hold is quite common at LHR and it is used mainly as a spacing procedure.An ATCO from London could correct me on that but the main reason is that airplanes arriving into Heathrow come generally from very close international airspaces/controls and there is basically no time to manage these traffics on an en-route speed schedule spacing.
Most pilots I know don't mind at all and most consider the UK controllers as the best there are as they always keep you in the picture ,telling you how much hoding time you'd be expecting to spend before your approach... and then there is absolutely no surprise in terms of their handling of your own traffic.

2/- How many other airports suffer these problems, I've never experienced it anywhere else if i recall correctly,

I fly just about everywhere in Europe and LHR is alone in this league.
(It's just a matter of different procedures)... Until about two years ago, holds were in use in FRA and then the Germans changed their STARs, the trajectories of which now look like a flat double S (they could be more than 70 nm long) with a lot of numbered waypoins... The beauty of this system is that when the controller clears you to one of these waypoints (with a speed constraint), you can easily deduce your remaining track distance to the runway, allowing you to conduct your flight to the required low noise final.
Paris is about as nightmarish as you could dream : vectors and speeds and I challenge anyone to manage one's flight in these conditions :you have lost your SA.

Hope this answers your questions.



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User currently offlineB744F From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2469 times:

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 7):
a hold is actually quite rare. even on busier days,

Maybe where you are from, but are you speaking about the entire US region in general or just based on your scanning observations?


User currently offlinePHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1243 posts, RR: 19
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 2459 times:

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 7):
a hold is actually quite rare. even on busier days, the odds that you get a hold are pretty pretty remote.

I completely disagree, holding is a very common procedure. Each airport probably has holds put on the arrivals about 3-5 times a week. Especially in the summer, when you have to deal with cells or even traffic volume, then the Tracon simply runs out of airspace so the Center has to hold them. Happens more often then people think.


User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2760 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 2444 times:

As PHLapproach said, holding can be pretty common when the weather turns bad. It's been occurring quite often the last few days in the northeast (along with some very long ground delay programs), with all the thunderstorms blocking the departure and arrival routes into the New York, Philadelphia, and DC area airports.

The sequencing of arrivals can start very far away from the actual airport. Very easy to see if you have access to a program like flight explorer. LGA arrivals from the west are often sequenced over Ohio. On most days you can pick out a line of EWR arrivals extending south all the way to North Carolina.



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User currently offlineBa299 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 173 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2381 times:

Coming from the west to LHR it really depend where the exit point from the NAT is. If it is "near" you destination the ATC have some difficult to slow you down. Sometimes as soon as you get in contact with London control the first instruction are: " reduce to minimum clean".
In the past I remember that arriving in FRA we had to hold quite often.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2365 times:

I'd have to say that for domestic US airspace a holding pattern is pretty rare. Over my whole career I'd say I was given an actual racetrack hold maybe as seldom as once every thousand hours or so. Went more than two turns maybe five or six times in forty years. Went seven turns, descending, once, with Hughes Airwest F-27 above me and some bonehead in a Bonanza below us, getting sequenced for an at-minimums VOR circling approach.

Delay vectors and assigned speeds on the other hand were common, more common than just getting straight in.

Now in Europe - different matter! LGW, it seems, uses a couple of published holds as a hopper from which they draw their traffic.



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User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2356 times:

Quoting PHLapproach (Reply 16):
Quoting Planespotting (Reply 7):
a hold is actually quite rare. even on busier days, the odds that you get a hold are pretty pretty remote.

I completely disagree, holding is a very common procedure.

I think perhaps you are interpreting the comment in a different way. Note the words "you get a hold" - I take that to mean you as a passenger/crew - NOT you as an airport. In that context it is certainly not common to hold if you average out holds per flight. In my near 100 flights from and to various points in the world, I've only been held twice.

Geoff M.


User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2340 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 19):
I'd have to say that for domestic US airspace a holding pattern is pretty rare. Over my whole career I'd say I was given an actual racetrack hold maybe as seldom as once every thousand hours or so. Went more than two turns maybe five or six times in forty years. Went seven turns, descending, once, with Hughes Airwest F-27 above me and some bonehead in a Bonanza below us, getting sequenced for an at-minimums VOR circling approach.

Delay vectors and assigned speeds on the other hand were common, more common than just getting straight in.

Now in Europe - different matter! LGW, it seems, uses a couple of published holds as a hopper from which they draw their traffic.

It all depends on where you're at Big grin

In radar environments, holds are pretty rare, they like delay vectors and the like. Non-radar environments when the weather is low, holds are much more common.



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User currently offlineZarniwoop From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2250 times:

I was on a BA flight from LHR to SIN last year cruising pretty high over Afghanistan. Couldn't sleep so was watching the map on the IFE when I noticed that plane had done a 180 turn and was heading back to europe! I was pretty relieved a few minutes later when it did another 180 and headed back on the normal course, so must have been in a holding pattern.

User currently offlineCX777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 153 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2239 times:

Over the years I have experienced HOLDING on a flight about dozen times. However, the most unusual was last month.... I flew QF107 SYD-LAX-JFK sector. On LAX-JFK, I was sleeping and was awaken 1/2 way only to find out we were in a HOLD at cruise FL370 somewhere over Wisconsin 150nm west of Chicago!!. There were severe thunderstorms at JFK area and the traffic was backed up. As the captain came on for the third time to explain why we may divert, he got the green to continue! All in all we HELD for over 35 minutes and were in a 3 min race track with 090/270 headings.
Raj


User currently offlineBrettbrett21 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 436 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2008 times:

Are there such things as departure holds, I think I've seen something like these on charts before but I've never heard of them in practice.
I mean a hold in congested airspace where you would climb to a high altitude.
Anyone?

Brett



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25 Starlionblue : Whoa. Well as others have said, LHR has a hold most of the time. I fly in there twice a month nowadays and am very surprised if we don't do a couple
26 Milski : There are (at least in the USA) holds which are parts of obstacle departure procedures where you are expected to climb to your minimum enroute altitu
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