Actual holding pattern entry.

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Archimago, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    You get plenty of hand flying and needle following doing holds. I think a case could be made for introducing them earlier in training than is typical
     
  2. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That’s interesting. ATC gave me a hold on my check ride last weak. I'm sure the DPE set me up! It was not an issue. But I have had to do several procedure turns and that’s kind of the same thing as far as entry.
     
  3. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had one on my checkride too. The DPE did not set me up. It was a runaway change in progress.
     
  4. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    "procedure turn" that's another term that tends to instantly give rusty IFR people nightsweats.
     
  5. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Good point. But something with the mental picture and the thumb, middle, index finger thing with holds tends to give people a lot of anxiety. There's this perception that you'll be flying holds left and right as an instrument pilot

    In reality, as a newly minted IFR pilot doing your first few actual IMC departures and arrivals, you'll be spending most of your time figuring out DPs, arrival procedures, and reading back clearances at unfamiliar airports
     
  6. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Oddly the only "real world" hold Ive ever gotten was during instrument training training in SoCAL... I say real world in quotes because it was a very typical SoCAL VFR weekend so it wasn't like we had to hold but everyone and their mother was out trying to do practice approaches. Got a "real world" hold over OCN for the KOKB VOR-A practice approach. They had us stacked 7 deep at 500 ft intervals from procedure altitude on up to 5500ft. We almost went somewhere else but my instructor decided it'd be good practice to have me actually manage all the different aspects of the hold, from radio comms to altitude transitions while in the hold.

    That being said, yeah I'm pretty sure that's the only hold I've been given that I didn't specifically request. In fact most of the time when asking for practice approaches, there seems to be puzzlement from ATC when I want to execute either the pre-approach hold-in-lieu pt or the full missed-approach to hold. Its almost like they aren't aware that holding is part of the currency requirement... though given there is no set requirement for number of holds and most people focus on the approaches (and create their own holds without ATC) I guess its not that common of a request.

    As to the Ops question:

    The prevailing wisdom in the US is that neither ATC or the FAA generally don't seem to really care how you enter the hold as long as you enter the hold and inform them when established so do what you feel comfortable with. I've heard plenty of pilots call themselves out for using the wrong entry type but have never heard ATC question it. I'm not even sure there is an FAR under which the FAA could take action/violate you specifically for incorrect holding procedures as holding entry descriptions are part of the AIM; even a depicted Procedure Turn barb is considered "advisory" and not regulatory. Of course if something bad happens while operating outside the "advisory" parameters, you're going to have to answer to the FAA why you were operating the way you were and your reasoning may not pass their scrutiny enough to not be considered at fault, though again what exactly you'd be violated for is a little unclear and the conversation with the FAA only happens if something bad happens. The FAA/FAR's primary concern as it relates to holds is that you enter and remain in the "protected area." Secondary to that is all the other FAR's that may apply such as not violating an airspace or other directive (such as a specific procedure be NA).

    This broad definition offers all sorts of possible cheats as my CFII once demonstrated... For example, the protected area along an airway is 4NM on either side of the airway... Thus you technically have 4NM of airspace on the non-holding side that is classified as "protected" which we regularly used to cheat the turn for a parallel in a way that made it easier to turn and establish on the inbound course in the hold before reaching the fix and having to turn outbound.

    In addition to the flexible FAA view of holding entry, this type of question primarily exists as "checkride trivia." You are unlikely to get a hold from an enroute segment along an airway that involves anything other than a direct or parallel entry and even executing a non-airway hold, the chances that the entry is so on the line as to raise question as to the best entry are incredibly slim. Thus its typically the type of question a DPE asks to see how you would handle something that isn't entirely clear.

    Note that the above applies to the FAA and flying within the US only. Operations internationally under both local and ICAO rules are known for being more stringent in their expectation that you enter the hold using the correct method and as described without any "cheats." Just something to consider if you are flying internationally since US pilots have been violated by foreign regulators for "bad procedures" and the FAA may go after your certificate for violating foreign regulations just as they would for violating domestic ones, even in situations where the violation under the foreign regulator is not a violation under the FAA.

    My personal response in all cases is to ask for ATC for maneuvering space to whichever side I want/need to establish in the hold using the type of entry I would prefer.

    I picked up this "go ahead and ask for it" style from here: https://code7700.com/course_reversals.htm
     
  7. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I can’t prove it and he was solid poker faced when I asked him, but I believe he called them before we took off. It went something like this. Call approach ask for RNAV 34 circle to 25. ATC gives me direct to the IAF. 5 miles out get assigned to hold. No big deal I enter the hold and report to approach. Approach instantly calls back, report inbound and cleared for the approach. I comply. Once established I get sent to tower. Call tower and can’t get a response. I keep flying the approach and try tower a few times then decided to go back to approach. I let them know I can’t raise the tower and they tell me to try ground. I call ground and they clear me to land. I fly the approach to a full stop and taxi back. I call ground and let them know I’m holding short and ready for takeoff and they tell me contact tower. This time tower is loud and clear. I takeoff and get handed off to departure and guess what,,, can’t raise departure. Switch back to tower and let them know and they give me a different frequency and now everything’s fine. I fly another approach at the same airport with no issues. I ask the DPE at the end of the check ride if he set all that up and he emphatically swore he did not! I think I handled it well but I really don’t believe all that just “happened” on my check ride. Also there was almost no traffic at the airport.
     
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  8. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    About three decades ago, I was a flight instructor at a field with three flight schools plus a major aeronautical university flight program. The pattern was often very busy. I was flying with a guy who was a student at the university in order to give him a checkout to rent our airplanes. The renter told me a about his Commercial A:MEL checkride that he had just busted in the University program. The DPE was well known as being very inflexible. Actually, all of the DPEs at the field were very inflexible but that's another story.

    The examiner had told him to treat her as his Aunt who'd never flown in a small airplane before. He was PIC.

    Late in the checkride they were doing pattern work. He was doing a simulated-single-engine approach in the typically very busy traffic pattern. As they approached the threshold the examiner turned to him and said, "Go-around!". He reacted immediately by bringing BOTH throttles up to max and completing a normal, two-engine go-around.

    She busted him for going-around from a single-engine approach because his "Aunt" said to and at an altitude that was too low for a single-engine go-around.

    One would think that his use of BOTH engines for the go-around demonstrated that he thought that there was a real need for a go-around and not part of the checkride scenario and that he knew they were too low for a single-engine go-around. I guess not.

    So, he's back some days later for the retest. She's a few minutes late and comments that she had just come from visiting the Tower.

    Same situation, simulated-single-engine approach. This time, on short final, the TOWER tells them to go-around for an aircraft still on the runway. He figures that she set this up when she was at the tower so he responds, "Unable. Simulated single-engine!" The Tower controller was understandably perplexed and re-issues the go-around instructions. She (the DPE) takes the plane and initiates the go-around. They came around for a full-stop and she typed out his new certificate.

    What a complete waste of time and money...
     
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  9. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Contrived situations like "imagine there's a 50' obstacle on the end of the runway" are too ambiguous for my tastes. An examiner can say, "Just treat me like a passenger," but it'll never happen. When the "passenger" says, "Go around!" the applicant knows the examiner's voice and will execute the command—every time.

    I was receiving the in-flight training for a type rating in the Citation after completing the simulator part of the course. I was forewarned of the CFI's expectation that I would be expected to do a single engine go-around from the landing configuration, a maneuver I reject with all my heart and soul. So, during the pre-flight briefing I told the CFI I would NOT do it. He told me if I wanted my type rating, I WILL. So, sure enough, I did. But I registered my complaint with the school (a famous one, btw) and all the reasons for my opposition. Bottom line is not to commit to a landing, configuration-wise, until you are absolutely going to land. In a light twin, like the examiner/"aunt" in your story, a more reasonable and fair evaluation would have been to fail an engine after beginning a normal missed approach at minimums. That's a "real" possibility, not a contrived one. Today, decades later, even doing that might not be allowed under flight test rules, IDK.
     
  10. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    I never sent any of my students to her. There was no point in wasting their time and money. Her private pilot checkrides were a full-day affair. Absolutely rediculous.

    She busted one of my school's CFI applicants at the end of a 10-hour checkride day because she used the word "secondary" instead of "supporting" (Primary and supporting instruments) when describing instrument scanning during in-flight hood work for a (simulated) primary student. The applicant used the wrong word only once.
     
  11. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    OMG! Sheesh. :rolleyes: