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Holding Patterns  
User currently offlineAirworthy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2530 times:

Where are holding patterns at? Do planes just make 360s around a VOR?

4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2511 times:

Holding patterns can be at places other than VORs, like intersections, radial/DME fixes, and other places. The holding pattern isn't a 360/circle, but a "racetrack" pattern.

User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2493 times:

Where are holding patterns at?
Wherever a controller feels like putting one. A corner of the pattern will always be on some sort of fix, be it a VOR, NDB, intersection, DME fix, GPS waypoint, etc.

Do planes just make 360s around a VOR?
Holding patterns are racetrack courses with the standard length of the inbound leg being 1 minute when below 14,000 MSL, and 1.5 minutes when above 14,000 MSL.

Turns are normally made to the right.

Speed limits are:
200 KIAS <= 6,000 MSL.
230 KIAS 6,000 < you <= 14,000 MSL
265 KIAS > 14,000 MSL

When entering from sector (a), the parallel entry is executed, turn outbound, proceed for 1 minute (or 1.5 for the appropriate altitude), and then turn around on the protected side and intercept the inbound course or proceed to the holding fix.

When entering from sector (b), a teardrop entry is executed. Turn to a heading that is 30 degrees to the protected side of the outbound course, proceed for 1 (or 1.5) minute, then turn and intercept the inbound course.

When entering from sector (c), a direct entry is executed. Turn to the outbound heading, fly for one minute, and turn to intercept the inbound course.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineNormalSpeed From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2454 times:

Ralgha did a good job of describing the basics of holding, so I won't repeat what he has said. I did find this great article on Avweb about holding from an air traffic controller perspective.


I thought the following was the most interesting:

"How a pilot enters or flies the hold is almost moot because everyone is separated by altitude. In more complex airspace where holding might be in progress at a number of fixes, the pilot's ability to remain within protected airspace could become a more serious consideration. A target wandering away from the hold could draw a gentle "Where are you going?" followed by a hand-holding vector back to the corral.

Can I tell if your hold entry is FAA/AIM/Martha King-approved? Teardrop, parallel or direct? Maybe. Do I care? No. As long as your radar target is mushing around the vicinity of the fix and at the altitude assigned, I don't get too concerned.

If you actually find yourself compelled to hold and you haven't the foggiest notion how to enter the pattern, don't panic. There's no air traffic snitch in the radar room measuring your turns or timing your inbound legs. Just jump right in, hold altitude and thrash your way through it the best you can. If you get bored with right turns, ask for left. If you want longer legs, speak up."

Hope this helps,

User currently offlineFlightSimFreak From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2406 times:

Holding patterns don't have to be IFR... VFR pilots can go to the penalty box too...

There were quite a few instrument pilots doing approaches in to my home airport while I was solo around the pattern... Tower said "57J, do you know where the Cable Bridge is?", "Yes" I reply, "Circle that until I tell you to stop"

"57J will circle the cable bridge until told to stop"

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