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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 Terminal Arrival Routes (STARS)
Standard terminal arrival routes (as described in Chapter
8) have been established to simplify clearance delivery
procedures for arriving aircraft at certain areas having high
density traffic. A STAR serves a purpose parallel to that of a
DP for departing traffic. [Figure 10-3] The following points
regarding STARs are important to remember:

1. All STARs are contained in the TPP, along with the
IAP charts for the destination airport. The AIM also
describes STAR procedures.

2. If the destination is a location for which STARs
have been published, a pilot may be issued a
clearance containing a STAR whenever ATC deems
it appropriate. To accept the clearance, a pilot must
possess at least the approved textual description

3. It is the pilot's responsibility to either accept or refuse
an issued STAR. If a STAR will not or cannot be used,
advise ATC by placing "NO STAR" in the remarks
section of the filed flight plan or by advising ATC.

4. If a STAR is accepted in a clearance, compliance is

Substitutes for Inoperative or Unusable Components
The basic ground components of an ILS are the localizer,
glide slope, outer marker, middle marker, and inner marker
(when installed). A compass locator or precision radar may
be substituted for the outer or middle marker. Distance
measuring equipment (DME), VOR, or nondirectional beacon
(NDB) fixes authorized in the standard IAP or surveillance
radar may be substituted for the outer marker.

Additionally, IFR-certified global positioning system (GPS)
equipment, operated in accordance with Advisory Circular
(AC) 90-94, Guidelines for Using Global Positioning System
Equipment for IFR En Route and Terminal Operations and
for Nonprecision Instrument Approaches in the United
States National Airspace System, may be substituted for
ADF and DME equipment, except when flying NDB IAP.
Specifically, GPS can be substituted for ADF and DME
equipment when:

1. Flying a DME arc;

2. Navigating TO/FROM an NDB;

3. Determining the aircraft position over an NDB;

4. Determining the aircraft position over a fix made up
of a crossing NDB bearing;

5. Holding over an NDB;

6. Determining aircraft position over a DME fix.

Holding Procedures

Depending upon traffic and wHolding Procedures
Depending upon traffic and weather conditions, holding may
be required. Holding is a predetermined maneuver which
keeps aircraft within a specified airspace white awaiting
further clearance from ATC. A standard holding pattern
uses right turns, and a nonstandard holding pattern uses left
turns. The ATC clearance will always specify left turns when
a nonstandard pattern is to be flown.

Standard Holding Pattern (No Wind)
In a standard holding pattern with no winds, [Figure 10-4] the
aircraft follows the specified course inbound to the holding
fix, turns 180° to the right, flies a parallel straight course
outbound for 1 minute, turns 180° to the right, and flies the
inbound course to the fix.

Standard Holding Pattern (With Wind)
A standard symmetrical holding pattern cannot be flown
when winds exist. In those situations, the pilot is expected

1. Compensate for the effect of a known wind except
when turning.

2. Adjust outbound timing to achieve a l-minute(l-l/2
minutes above 14,000 feet) inbound leg.

Figure 10-5 illustrates the holding track followed with a left
cross wind. The effect of wind is counteracted by applying
drift corrections to the inbound and outbound legs and by
applying time allowances to the outbound leg.

Holding Instructions
If an aircraft arrives at a clearance limit before receiving
clearance beyond the fix, ATC expects the pilot to maintain
the last assigned altitude and begin holding in accordance
with the charted holding pattern. If no holding pattern is
charted and holding instructions have not been issued, enter
a standard holding pattern on the course on which the aircraft
approached the fix and request further clearance as soon
as possible. Normally, when no delay is anticipated, ATC
will issue holding instructions at least 5 minutes before the
estimated arrival at the fix. Where a holding pattern is not
charted, the ATC clearance will specify the following:

1. Direction of holding from the fix in terms of the eight
cardinal compass points (N, NE, E SE, etc.)

2. Holding fix (the fix may be omitted if included at the
beginning of the transmission as the clearance limit)

3. Radial, course, hearing, airway, or route on which the
aircraft is to hold.