Understanding how to fly a holding pattern

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Blueangel, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    I reviewed the different holding pattern entry types: parallel, teardrop and direct. So for a holding pattern:

    1. Identify the fix provided by ATC
    2. Determine if standard (right turn) or left turn hold
    3. If timed or DME legs given by ATC
    4. Draw the hold on chart

    So let us say we have a direct entry, teardrop or parallel entry pattern and ATC gives us Cessna 12F hold west on the 210 Radial from ABC vortac and we are on a current heading of 120. How would we fly this hold? Most of the CFII I met so far lack the ability to explain and teach it!

    My understanding this far:

    1. Use thumb method on the HI to determine how to enter it.
    Tune the first VOR OBS to inbound course which would be 210 TO for the ABC vortac and tune the second VOR OBS to the outbound radial of 300 which is the reciprocal of the inbound course.
     
  2. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You have discovered one of the sad facts of instrument training - overcomplicating the simple. Forget the thumb and forefinger. Try this:

    Since you have already drawn the hold, add

    5. Draw your position approaching the hold.

    Knowing in very general terms what those three entry types look like, isn't the hold entry obvious?
     
  3. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  4. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    oops. i don't think you drew it.

    How can "hold west on the 210 radial" have an "inbound course" of 210?
     
  5. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Here. Now finish the drawing and tell us what entry it is. (It's actually southwest, but that's a minor quibble)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The lesson here is to draw it. Holds are so rare that there's no shame in sketching it out when you're assigned one if it's not obvious.
     
  7. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

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    Hold on = Fly inbound on
    210 Radial = the radial.
    ABC Vortac = what frequency you are tuning that 210 radial to.

    Disclaimer: I did the following in my head. No map, no radial, no pen.

    1. Fly to the Vortac. The heading you gave us doesn't really help. I am just going to assume that you meant your "direct to" the Vortac is 120. When you reach the vortac you want to figure out a way to get yourself on that circle. from the 120 inbound a direct entry would be a steep right followed by a left, no. A parallel is a steep left, no

    A tear drop would mean you would reach the radial and turn 45 degrees of your inbound so turn to 255 fly it for 45 seconds, then make a standard rate left turn and you will intercept the 210 radial.

    From there every time you cross the radial make a turn towards the west (left) and do your hold.

    Tune your instruments for a 210 inbound, fly to that vortac and fly one of the three following.
    1. Enter the first turn right away
    2. Fly backwards down the radial and then make a standard rate turn inside your hold then intercept the inbound
    3. fly 45 degrees inside of your hold for 45 seconds then make a standard rate turn back towards the inbound and join.

    I keep typing but I'm not sure if any of it makes sense.
    Go on a simulator and fly to a vor and intercept different holds. The biggest secret is that the smoothest way is the right way, and stay within your hold.
     
  8. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I remember doing an extended IPC for a guy who had been away from flying for about 15 years. I asked hi what he found most difficult about IFR flying and he said holds.

    So we went to the blackboard and I had him draw a series of hold instructions and his direction of flight. "Holy crap, that's easy!" was his comment.

    Not the OP's example but close, here's the drawing for "Hold southwest on the 220° radial. Left turns. Maintain 8,000. Expect further clearance at 0000Z." The airplane is inbound from the northwest.
    [​IMG]

    I know different people learn things differently so the entry might not be as obvious to some as I think it is to most.
     
  9. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Why is a 90° turn to the right upon reaching the VOR too steep? Maybe you should try the pen :)

    Ah I think I found it - same error as the OP:
    Hold on the 210° Radial is not a 210° inbound. Look at my first drawing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  10. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Toss the parallel......only used for the checkride.


    Teardrop or direct..........makes it easier and no stress.
     
  11. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    My guess is you are coming at it from a 90 degree angle...I am just gonna make a right 1/2 standard 90 degree turn and join the outbound leg. The entry techniques are recommended procedures. As long as you stay on the protected side, you're good.
     
  12. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've also heard, "toss the teardrop..." :D

    Also, just make the shortest turn outbound.

    But the problem isn't the choice of entry. It's understanding the process and then making a decision. Personally, I still use both although I have a definite preference for a teardrop when it's at all close.

    For example, on my hold on the 220°, left turns example, I would do the ~90° turn to the parallel entry rather than the ~135° turn to a teardrop.

    But as we both know, the only issue is remaining in the protected area and not making ATC nervous :)
     
  13. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

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    A direct is the technical right answer but if someone did do a tear drop, things would work out fine. A standard rate turn to 210 after crossing the fix would make the left turn back to the inbound rather difficult and it would be likely the pilot will overshoot to the east. A Tear drop here lets the pilot an exact number to turn to and would make the pilot way less likely to deviate to the east.

    The by the book answer, Direct. What I personally would do, tear-drop.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  14. david0tey

    david0tey Line Up and Wait

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    Example: Hold west of the ABC vortac on the 250 radial, left turns.

    1: Draw a compass rose.

    2: Draw the ABC vortac in the middle of that compass rose.

    3. Draw an arrow FROM the 250 direction TO the ABC vortac.

    4. Complete the holding pattern shape with the arrow you drew. ( In this case, to the left)

    5. Draw your aircraft heading to the vortac with another arrow.

    6. Determine what you would have to do upon reaching that point to avoid crossing to the unprotected side of the hold.


    And most importantly, disregard the thumb rule. Not only is it more complicated, but you won't actually visualize what you're doing.
     
  15. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    HILPTs are not at all rare. In most of those, all you do is the entry.

    Even ATC assigned holds do happen. As a new instrument pilot, I've already experienced one. It was very simple. "Hold at TRACY intersection. Expect clearance for the ILS in 5 minutes." So, right turns, inbound heading is bearing to TRACY. Obvious direct entry.

    I really, really have to agree with midlifeflyer here. These aren't nearly as hard as the IFH makes them. Basically, keep your entry inside the hold with the smallest turns you can. There is some overlap between teardrop and parallel entry where you really could do either. I prefer the teardrop for those, as I get more time tracking the inbound course before crossing the fix.

    So, IRL, you memorize the "recommended" entry for the written test, and later, just do what works.
     
  16. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

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    A hold on the 210 radial would be a hold SOUTHWEST of the VOR. Southwest is from 202.5 to 247.5. 210 is inbetween those two numbers. This hold will go INBOUND to the VOR on the 210 (outbound) radial SOUTHWEST of VOR, left hand turns.

    This is a hold at the VOR correct?

    Holds at the VOR are always inbound to the VOR. (holds at a DME or intersection can go both inbound and outbound). There are only two possible holds on a radial of a VOR, right and left. So a hold SOUTHWEST of VOR on the 210 radial would go inbound to the VOR on the 210 outbound radial.



    Here is a drawing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  17. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

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    Now:

    1. Draw the other possible hold and put ATC description of the hold instructions next to it.
    2. Then draw another VOR and a named intersection 10 miles away and draw all FOUR possible holds and their ATC descriptions.
    3. Draw LOTS of holds and the demarcation where the boundries for types of hold entries are.
    4. One tip. If you get to a holding point, VOR in this case, and dont know which way to turn. Turn in the cardinal direction that the ATC instruction had in it. In this case that is SOUTHWEST. It will get you in the ball park.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  18. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

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    The holding instruction would be:
    Hold SOUTHWEST of VOR,
    on 210 radial
    left hand turn

    then expect further clearance at TIME
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  19. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Not quite "good"--you're "probably good" as long as you're in a putt-putt training plane and there's not a bunch of wind. The entries are "recommended" because the pattern templates that delineate protected airspace are based on the assumption the entries are flown. So, I say if anybody wants to do their own thing, like on a flight test, it would be fair game for the DPE to require proof, which would mean knowledge of the exact template used for the pattern in question. IMO, it takes more effort to avoid entering the right way than just doing it. Instead of drawing on a chart you can "draw" it on the DG with more precision, so I don't understand why everybody doesn't do that. Then you're covered no matter what you fly or how hard the wind blows.

    dtuuri
     
  20. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Where'd you get that from?

    dtuuri
     
  21. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

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    Its what Mark used. OP didnt specify.
     
  22. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    :dunno:

    What's the garmin say?
     
  23. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    First, you copy the URL from the image attachment that you uploaded. (How you do that depends on what hardware and software you're using to access the forum.) Then you paste that URL into the window that pops up when you click on the little yellow icon (with a picture of mountains on it) that appears at the top of the reply or edit window.

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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  24. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

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    One great rule-of-thumb I heard (and it also makes sense, go figure) is that the best entry is the one that will require the smallest turn.
    I see the hold, I see my heading, I immediately know which way to turn. Done.
     
  25. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    You can't hold west on the 210 radial. You can hold SOUTHwest on it. First element of a holding clearance (after naming the holding fix) is the cardinal direction of the holding airspace from the facility. 210 is southwest, not west. You current heading is irrelevant...fly to the fix. You could be north or south of the fix and be on a 120 heading.

    Next mistake: inbound course would be 030, not 210....if you are inbound from the southwest, you must be flying northeast. BTW, the thumb method works only when you are heading directly toward the fix.

    Note my changes to your post.

    You need to read AIM 5-3-8 and ChapTer 8 of my book THE COMPLETGE ADVANCED PILOT, which is loaded with examples.

    Bob Gardner
     
  26. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When entering from the outbound course, a direct entry will have a shorter turn than the correct parallel entry. It will also put you on the wrong side of the inbound course.

    You need to add to that, that you should remain inside the hold. Then, the direct entry is wrong. The teardrop entry is not wrong; you can make that work just fine (and I like to do just that for holding on a VOR as that lets me intercept further out and not try to intercept inside the zone of confusion).
     
  27. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Your drawing assumes a location. The OP gave us only a heading. He could be anywhere on a heading of 120. If he had said "Flying direct to the holding fix my heading is 120..." your drawing would work.

    Bob
     
  28. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Thumb rule works just fine. How did 210 in the OP change to 250 in your post?

    Insofar as the unprotected side is concerned, the smallest holding pattern template, 2000'agl, provides 2.6nmof protected airspace in which to complete the turn to the outbound for the parallel. IOW there is protected airspace on the unprotected side. Your caution is for checkrides and horrific crosswinds only.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  29. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Perhaps a useful rule of thumb would be to choose an entry that minimizes penetration of the non-holding side. A parallel entry usually puts you on the non-holding side, but not by much. (There is some protected airspace on the non-holding side, just not as much.)
     
  30. Walt

    Walt Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I learned this from an FAA inspector (an unusually competent and friendly one) 50 years ago.

    Hit the fix. Turn outbound. Next turn on the holding side of the fix.

    To me all that other stuff just adds to the confusion.
     
  31. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This is one of those annoying things about flying that doesn't make any damn sense to me. Hold over XXX VOR on the 210 radial - why would you do anything other than fly direct to the VOR, then turn outbound? You can adjust it for perfection the next time around.

    Granted, I'm not instrument rated, but holy hell the FAA went a long way toward making this as confusing as possible.
     
  32. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    That's the way I've always done it. It seems easy to me, I just visualize it in my head and do whatever entry is the easiest way to get into the hold. It is even easier when flying something with a Garmin 430 or something similar where you can see the hold on the screen and it will even tell you which entry to use.

    Personal opinion, but I think the OP is making things too complicated, which might be why he doesn't understand what the instructor is trying to communicate with him. :)
     
  33. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Like this.
     
  34. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't care about the book answer. But I do think you are making a basic mistake that has nothing to do with the entry and everything to do with where the holding pattern is located..

    The OP's hypothetical hold instruction is west (actually southwest) of the fix on the 210° radial. The holding pattern is southwest of the fix. The outbound course is 210°; the inbound course is 030°. A standard rate turn to 030° upon reaching the fix (from any direction) would put you northeast of the fix, in exactly the wrong direction.
     
  35. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's not really the FAA's fault. It's the way it's taught.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  36. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You are correct. I am assuming the 120 is toward the fix not 50 miles away heading away from it. Either way the point is one needs to know where one is in relation to it.
     
  37. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

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    I mis explained. I met to say 30 degrees from the inbound bearing not heading 30. Heading 240. My math language is aweful, what I meant and what I wrote may not be =.

    After rereading what I wrote, I meant heading 210 not 030 had a mixup of bearing and radials. I am changing it in that post so it makes sense to someone reading it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  38. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

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    The first thing you have to do is write down the holding instructions.

    Holding Fix and radial
    Cardinal Direction
    right or left turns

    Then next thing is make a drawing on the enroute or approach plate showing where the hold is and where you are coming into the hold.

    Then figure out how to enter the hold.

    If you have an IFR GPS, put it in OBS mode and you dial in the holding radial using the holding fix as the waypoint (do a DIRECT TO to the holding waypoint).
     
  39. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You can usually put the holding fix in your flight plan if it isn't already there. The advantage is that you have a place to go after the hold and may not need to reprogram the GPS. This is a no-brainer for the frequent case of a hold within an instrument approach or at an IAF or feeder fix.

    And set the OBS to the INBOUND course (so, 030 for the 210 radial), as you will never be tracking it outbound. But do this only as you cross the fix or you'll lose guidance to it.
     
  40. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

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    If those are right hand turns that is NOT A LEGAL HOLD! You NEVER make a turn and come to the holding fix immediately after the turn. I challenge ANYONE to find a single hold depicted that way on any FAA chart!!! Im talking about flying the hold, not entering it.

    Doing a hold by making a 180 turn and coming into the fix is impossible because the holding instructions would be ambigous. There would be two possible holds for every holding instruction. That can't happen!

    Think of it this way. You always have a straight inbound leg into the fix so you can "wiggle in" and get on the radial. Never turn 180 degrees and arrive at the fix!:nono:

    (you will have to look at his orginal post #33 and the drawing there, the quote didnt include the drawing)
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016