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Instrument Flying Handbook
IFR Flight
Holding Procedures

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Instrument Flying


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Human Factors
Chapter 2. Aerodynamic Factors
Chapter 3. Flight Instruments
Chapter 4. Section I
Airplane Attitude Instrument
Using Analog Instrumentation
Chapter 4. Section II
Airplane Attitude Instrument
Using an Electronic Flight

Chapter 5. Section I
Airplane Basic
Flight Maneuvers
Using Analog Instrumentation
Chapter 5. Section II
Airplane Basic
Flight Maneuvers
Using an Electronic Flight

Chapter 6. Helicopter
Attitude Instrument Flying

Chapter 7. Navigation Systems
Chapter 8. The National
Airspace System

Chapter 9. The Air Traffic
Control System

Chapter 10. IFR Flight
Chapter 11. Emergency

Standard Holding Pattern - No Wind.
Figure 10-4. Standard Holding Pattern - No Wind.

Drift Correction in Holding Pattern.
Figure 10-5. Drift Correction in Holding Pattern.

4. Leg length in miles if DME or area navigation
(RNAV) is to be used (leg length will be specified in
minutes on pilot request or if the controller considers
it necessary).

5. Direction of turn, if left turns are to be made, because
the pilot requests or the controller considers it

6. Time to expect further clearance (EFC) and any
pertinent additional delay information.

ATC instructions will also be issued whenever

1. It is determined that a delay will exceed 1 hour.

2. A revised EFC is necessary.

3. In a terminal area having a number of navigation
aids and approach procedures, a clearance limit may
not indicate clearly which approach procedures will
be used. On initial contact, or as soon as possible
thereafter, approach control will advise the pilot of
the type of approach to expect.

4. Ceiling and/or visibility is reported as being at or
below the highest "circling minimums' established
for the airport concerned. ATC will transmit a report
of current weather conditions and subsequent changes,
as necessary.

5. An aircraft is holding while awaiting approach
clearance, and the pilot advises ATC that reported
weather conditions are below minimums applicable
to the operation. In this event, ATC will issue suitable
instructions to aircraft desiring either to continue
holding while awaiting weather improvement or
proceed to another airport.

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 an aircraft remains within the boundaries of
the prescribed holding airspace.

When a speed reduction is required, start the reduction when
3 minutes or less from the holding fix. Cross the holding fix
initially at or below the maximum holding airspeed (MHA).
The purpose of the speed reduction is to prevent overshooting
the holding airspace limits, especially at locations where
adjacent holding patterns are close together.

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

Altitude Mean Sea Level (MSL)/Airspeed (KIAS)

Up to 6,000 feet /200 KIAS

6,001 - 14,000 feet/230 KIAS

14,001 feet and above/265 KIAS