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1 HOLDING PATTERNS
(02 Mar 10)
Document Objectives / Requirements
This document explains the fundamental concepts of the holding pattern and the technicalities related to it. A basic knowledge of reading charts, a basic understanding of instrumentation (ADF primarily) and use of FMC (payware users) is required.
Practical Training Sessions Available
Please note the Fly UK Training Academy also offer a practical one2one online training sessions on this subject. Radio Navigation - http://www.flyuk.aero/en/index.php?page=my_training_acad&act=book&id=7 Holding Patterns - http://www.flyuk.aero/en/index.php?page=my_training_acad&act=book&id=12
This document contains: Holding Patterns The Hold Holding By Hand
At Fly UK we encourage a high standard of flying and we aim to help and support all our members to the best of our ability. If we all follow these guidelines when flying a holding pattern, it will help you to understand how to fly your aircraft to a better standard.
Fly UK Virtual Airways
UKV TRD 3.1 HOLDING PATTERNS
(02 Mar 10)
First of all we will look at what a holding pattern is. A holding pattern is usually a racetrack or oval pattern which is centred around a fixed point, usually a VOR, NDB or Intersection. The fixed point is the start of the first turn, or racetrack pattern. An aircraft will approach the fixed point and once there will then enter the prescribed hold. A standard holding pattern uses right hand turns, however left hand turns are found occasionally. Each hold ‘should’ take 4 minutes in time (each leg being 1 minute in total). Occasionally you may be asked to deviate from the norm and may be given ‘amended’ instructions. If it is especially busy or there are ATC restrictions then you may be asked to either extend the leg time (for example 2 or 3 minutes). You may also be asked to use a distance rather than a time, so for example you may be asked to make each leg 5nm, albeit this being a rare occurrence. Most airports in the UK have published holding patterns, which can be found on the appropriate arrival charts. The instructions on the approach plate should be adhered to unless otherwise stated by air traffic. Holding patterns are mainly used in the vicinity of an airport to delay aircraft that cannot land yet due to congestion, bad weather, blocked runway or other eventualities. Any number of aircraft can use a holding pattern, all of which are separated by 1000ft or more. Some airports have a number of ‘stacks’ or holding patterns. Heathrow for example has 4 stacks. Finally, a note about flying a holding pattern. All holding patterns should be flown with landing gear and flaps retracted, as this reduces the overall drag and so reduces the fuel burn, all flights should carry the required holding fuel. Typical holding speeds vary from 210kts upto 250kts (this is not tied, some holding speeds are as low as 180kts). Obviously a heavier aircraft will have to hold at a higher speed. We will now move on and have a look at how we should look-up, enter and fly a holding pattern.
Fly UK Virtual Airways
For now. From the enlarged image we can see that the lowest holding altitude (LHA) is 2500ft AGL. all we are interested in is the holding concept. we are going to use the standard NDB hold at Bristol.UKV TRD 3. which will be continued in another document.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) The Hold For the following example. Fly UK Virtual Airways P-3- . Please note that this hold is part of a procedural approach. We should also be aware that the maximum speed for this hold is 185kts. So what we have here is a diagram of our hold.
We can tell it is the ‘outbound heading’ because the arrow is pointing away from the NDB. Here we are approach the hold from within a 70 degree angle from the left. As you can see. we are approaching the beacon almost dead on. Fly UK Virtual Airways P-4- . We overfly the beacon and teardrop round onto the inbound heading.UKV TRD 3. With this we can work out the ‘inbound heading’ is going to be 094degrees. We can see on the chart that the ‘outbound heading’ from the beacon is 274degrees. So we have now got the following information… Minimum/lowest holding altitude (LHA) is 2500ft. Maximum speed is 185kts IAS (indicated airspeed) Inbound course / heading 094degrees. and then we have a parallel entry. which as the name suggests is straight into the hold. We have the offset (or teardrop) entry. In this case we can enter the hold from the second we reach the beacon. because it has to be the reciprocal of the outbound figure ( i. There are 3 types of entry to the hold.e. These are displayed in diagrammatical form below: This is a direct entry to the hold. This actually all depends on which direction we approach the beacon from. fly away from the beacon and teardrop round to intercept. We approach the beacon from within a 70 degree angle from the right. all of which will be demonstrated for you in this document. the outbound heading minus 180degrees). This is a parallel entry to the hold.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) Following on from this. This is quite a simple one. we now need to look at what our ‘inbound heading’ should be. What we need to work out now is how we are going to enter the hold. and left hand turns. So we will overfly the beacon. We have the direct entry. This is a teardrop or offset entry to the hold.
we will be using the Bristol NDB and for the purpose of these demonstrations I will be using the FMC and systems from the PMDG 737-800. quite simply. As stated. Starting on the left hand side at the top. Again going down. we see our target speed and target altitude. so we should have a total hold time of 4 minutes.’ When you have put in the correct details. Okey. so we have a very brief description about how we are to enter the hold. we can deduce that this shows 185kts IAS and an altitude of 2500ft AGL for the hold. we can see ‘BRI’ which is the fix we are using for the hold.0 MIN’ this is obviously the length of our legs. So going down the FMC we can see the following. The reason I am doing this is to show you from both perspectives. The first thing we need to do is put the details into the FMC ‘Hold Page. Below that we have 094degrees and ‘/L TURN’ this is our ‘inbound heading’ and direction of turn for the hold. Going across to the top right. so we now imagine we are inbound to hold at the Bristol NDB. The above descriptions are valid for right handed holds. For left handed holds (like the one I am about to display) The parallel entry will be applicable when approaching from the right and from the left with the offset approach.UKV TRD 3. hopefully things will become clearer in the demonstrations to follow.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) Please note. Ok. we can see we have a leg time of ‘1. it should look something a little like this (this is assuming you are flying the PMDG 737 series). What we will now look at is a step by step guide at how to intercept and enter a hold using each of the entries above. so it is reversed. We have put in ‘185 / 2500’ and again. Fly UK Virtual Airways P-5- . don’t worry at this stage if you don’t understand.
Parallel Entry… The holding pattern has now been embedded onto the fix. we can see that this should be a parallel entry (taking into account this is a left handed hold).UKV TRD 3. Looking at the diagrams above. When we reach the point parallel to where we would turn in the hold. So moving on. Once we overfly the beacon. This puts us on an intercept heading to join the hold. we will continue on this heading until we reach the beacon.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) The next thing we need to do is verify that the data is being portrayed correctly on our Navigation Display (ND). We are currently flying a heading of 210degrees. Fly UK Virtual Airways P-6- . we will then turn to fly the reciprocal of the ‘inbound heading’ this will now take us away from the NDB and will put us in a position to fly our base turn to intercept the hold. we then turn back in towards the hold and start the base turn.
and continue to fly the racetrack until you need to exit. When you arrive over the beacon. remembering to keep the speed at 185kts or less! Fly UK Virtual Airways P-7- . You can either engage ‘LNAV’ to fly the hold (provided it has been input into the FMC) or you can fly it manually. You can happily enter the hold from this heading. This has now just basically turned into a normal direct entry.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) Once we start the base turn we carry on with the turn until we end up facing the NDB once again. you will then start the left hand turns to take up the normal hold.UKV TRD 3.
but this time on a more direct heading. Direct Entry… From the images we can see that this time. we are approaching the hold from an almost head on direction. this is the easiest way to enter the hold as it does not require any kind of procedure turn.UKV TRD 3. This way it will make entering the hold as accurate as possible. This is the basis of all the entries as both the parallel and offset entries eventually place you in a direct entry position. If the FMC is flying the hold for you. it should do this automatically and put you in a good position to start the orbits. So again. is the direct entry into the hold. or as close to it as possible.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) What we will look at next. As you get closer to the beacon you should start turning so that you arrive over it on the inbound heading. Fly UK Virtual Airways P-8- . we will presume you are inbound the BRI NDB.
This is again quite an easy way to get into the hold. you must turn before you hit the far magenta line. but it must be before you pass through the outbound leg. Fly UK Virtual Airways P-9- . i. Offset Entry… We are approaching the hold from the left this time. The diagrams below will explain better.UKV TRD 3.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) And finally. this will be an offset (teardrop) entry. However taking into account that it is a left hand hold. we continue on a heading away from the beacon towards the far side of the hold. It is down to pilot judgement when to turn. we will have a look at the offset (or teardrop) entry to the hold.e. Once we pass overhead the beacon as shown.
we will make a normal turn (usually about 3degrees per second) until we end up tracking the inbound heading towards the beacon. Once we are established on the ‘inbound heading’ we should then be able to take up the hold with little or no difficulty at all. Fly UK Virtual Airways P . Just as a recap. Take note that once we arrive over BRI we will then turn to the left as per the chart.UKV TRD 3. from the second image we can very easily see the way the hold takes shape.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) Upon reaching our turning point.10 - .
If you don’t have an FMC. and the 4 sectors or legs of it. Once we have entered the hold using one of the three prescribed methods. Leg 3. as most aircraft with an FMC will do it for you.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) So there we have the three ways to enter the hold. then a trusty stopwatch and your Direction Indicator will have to do! So let’s look at a typical hold (remembering that this is a left hand hold)… Leg 1.11 - . Leg 4. They may seem daunting to look at.UKV TRD 3. This is the easiest part. then programs like vasFMC or FSNavigator can fly a reasonable hold. we then need to fly the hold itself. Leg 2. but all it takes is a little bit of practise and maybe a session or two with the training academy to become proficient at them! Finally we will have a look at the way the hold itself. If you have neither of these. Fly UK Virtual Airways P .
This is our inbound heading and will take us back to the beacon where we can either exit the hold.12 - . If you are flying the hold on ‘HDG HOLD’ mode then. or start the hold all over again.1 HOLDING PATTERNS Going through leg by leg then: (02 Mar 10) Leg 1.’ Like the other turn. as per usual this leg should take 1 minute. Once we have completed our first turn. Intentionally Blank Fly UK Virtual Airways P . this should take a total of 1 minute and should be flown at a standard rate 1 turn. Leg 2. This is our base turn. This is the first leg. which will put us back onto our ‘inbound heading. or press the ‘EXIT HOLD’ button on the FMC (see left). if you engage ‘LNAV’ it should carry on your flightplan as per the FMC. this puts us onto our ‘outbound heading’ which we should fly for a total duration of 1 minute. it should take a total of 1 minute to complete and should be flown using a standard rate 1 (3 degrees per second)turn. provided that the hold is not set as the active waypoint in the ‘LEGS’ list. if you are flying the hold on ‘LNAV’ mode. When we arrive over the beacon after our entry we will then start our turn towards the outbound leg. Leg 3. at which point we will reach our base turn point. This is very simple and can be done a number of ways. The last thing we will look at is exiting the hold. Firstly.UKV TRD 3. Leg 4. then all you simply need to do is either change to ‘HDG HOLD’ mode.
When using basic radio nav equipment. The first we need to do is put in the NDB frequency into the appropriate section of our ‘Radio Navigation’ stack. or by using the instruments we have on board (No use of the FMC).UKV TRD 3. In Flight Simulator 2004 the frequency you need to put in is. a HSI and an ADF needle.13 - . Now we understand the basic concept of the this hold. it is important to first of all work out if we are indeed using the correct beacon. and a LHA (lowest holding altitude) of 2000ft. we can tell that it is a right hand hold. ‘420KHz’. The inbound leg is 095degrees and the outbound is 275degrees.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) Holding By Hand Now we know what a holding pattern is and what it looks like. using nothing but a Stopwatch. This is very simple and requires the press of a few buttons and a careful listen. Fly UK Virtual Airways P . To do this we must ‘Identify’ the beacon. with 1 minute legs. Please bear in mind that on the chart it says that the frequency is ‘318KHz’. So what can we learn by looking at the chart? Well. we will now have a brief look at how to fly one by hand. we will now look at how to fly it. What we have here is a section of the procedural NDB/ILS/DME approach for runway 28 at Blackpool. The problem with FS2004 is that a lot of the frequencies are out of date now and are different from their real world counterparts.
__. . then you must assume that the beacon is offline or not working properly and you must not use it.. Provided we have done these checks and we can verify that the needle is working. The lines in the code represent the longer beeps. You don’t need to be an expert on Morse code to understand the Ident. After we have pressed the ‘ADF’ button (as shown lit up green on the above panel) we should hear an Ident in Morse code.UKV TRD 3. we can safely and accurately use it. The dots represent short beeps. So by looking back at the chart we can see this: BPL 318KHz._... we need to ‘Identify’ it.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) Once we have put the correct frequency into the ‘ADF’ box. we can take off and perform the procedure. Once we have identified the beacon. Fly UK Virtual Airways P . The series of ‘dots and dashes’ you want to hear are displayed on the chart. We do this by selecting the ‘ADF’ audio function on our radio. . ‘ADF’ Needle Once we put ‘420KHz’ into the ‘ADF’ section of our radio stack we should see that the ‘ADF’ needle point to somewhere relatively close to the beacon. In layman’s terms we are listening out for something which sounds something similar to the layout of ‘dots and dashes’ above. If you do not get an Ident. When you listen for yourself you should be able to tell the difference. (420KHz on FS9) _.14 - .
The arrowthe beacon the beacon. we are going to use a direct entry to the hold. Fly UK Virtual Airways P . by looking at at the images. so if points was behind you. you willwould be the arrow-head understand more as webackwards towards pointing progress with the document.15 - . The arrow points relative cockpit is pointing directly to ahead. easily see that we are on and alsofor the BPL. towards it. quite easily that we are on track for the BPL. we canwe can quitesee two images.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) We will now look at the hold itself. the arrow-head relative to the beacon. so if would beacon was backwards the be pointing behind you. Okey. so so by looking the two Okey.UKV TRD 3. you will as we progress with the document. For the purpose of this. understand more it. and also track our ADF needle on the cockpit is pointing directly our ‘ADF’ needle on the ahead.
To check our progress.16 - .1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) Once we arrive over the beacon. this is where our hold actually starts. followed by the 4 o’clock position. the next thing to do is continue on that heading for approximately 5 seconds. When you are over the beacon. and not the tail-end). I would suggest that you use no more than a 30degree closing angle when approaching the beacon. I have used FSNavigator for the sole purpose of trying to show to you how the hold works. I have included a number of instrument and FSNavigator shots. When you are overhead the beacon. Fly UK Virtual Airways P . You can see above the way the needle has dropped. we will now begin our rate 1 (3 degree per second) turn.UKV TRD 3. the needle will drop (usually to the right). then slowly it will pass the 5 o’clock position and will eventually point backwards towards the beacon (please remember that the beacon is where the arrow-head is pointing. After we have flown a constant heading for 5 seconds. we want to put ourselves in a suitable position that will make our first turn as easy as possible. It will go to the 1 o’clock position. Before we reach the beacon.
fairly simple really. certainly no more than that. we can see that the arrowhead is now pointing towards the beacon. It generally works out that you pass 3degrees per second whilst turning.UKV TRD 3. The key here is to keep a rate 1 turn going all the way round to the outbound heading of 275degrees. this is indicator that we are now travelling directly away from it. As we keep the turn going. we should notice the ‘ADF’ needle slowly slip round the ‘RBI’ (Relative Bearing Indicator) towards the 9 o’clock position. It consists of a turn with a bank angle of about 15degrees. A rate 1 turn is what we call the standard turn for all holding manoeuvres. We need to maintain this heading for about 5 seconds. travelling away from it.17 - . Fly UK Virtual Airways P . (See diagrams below for a step by step demonstration of the first turn). With this knowledge you can work out that a 180degree turn will take 1 minute. when we reach the 9 o’clock position on the ‘RBI’ this means we are at the ‘abeam’ position and we can start our 1 minute timer for the outbound leg. and then being the turn.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) Once we pass the beacon.
1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) Fly UK Virtual Airways P .UKV TRD 3.18 - .
1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) From the last set of images. we can work on a QDM and QDR basis. we can see that we have arrived at the ‘abeam’ position. Carrying on with the hold then. We can look at this two ways. As we travel along the outbound leg. however I will explain it for you! Once we have completed our 1 minute outbound leg. This is much more complex and requires you to mentally transfer the image on the ‘ADF’ needle across to that on your HSI (Horizontal Situation Indicator) or DI (Direction Indicator).19 - . Now this is slight tricky and can sometimes be misleading. The angle that the lines would intersect at would be 30degrees. we should have arrived at the point depicted above. The definition of the ‘abeam’ position is very simple and can be described as the point where you are in line with the beacon on the outbound track.UKV TRD 3. QDM is a ‘Q-Code’ for the magnetic bearing to the beacon. RBI (‘ADF’) HSI Fly UK Virtual Airways P . We can imagine a line running through the aircraft longitudinally and then another line running from the beacon to the middle of the aircraft. our outbound track is 275degrees (as depicted on the chart) so when we are flying steady on a heading of 275degrees we can call ourselves established on the outbound track. In this case. Alternatively. we will eventually reach a point called the ‘gate position’. and QDR is a ‘Q-Code’ for the magnetic bearing from the beacon. This is where we at a 30degree angle away from the beacon.
So by now looking at the HSI we can tell that our heading is roughly 275degrees. So let’s now carry on with hold. So when our ‘ADF’ needle on the RBI is pointing towards 060degrees. We have reached the ‘gate position’ so it is now time to make our ‘base turn’ The base turn is the turn that will bring us back onto the inbound track. and will take us from the ‘gate position’ to the start of our inbound track. however I just prefer to transfer the picture across in my head.UKV TRD 3.20 - . which is the outbound track. it is shown that we are flying ‘North’. The ‘gate position’ is roughly the inbound QDM minus 30degrees.’ This sounds very confusing. You may notice that on the RBI. Again this is a 1 minute turn. This is not the case. So in this case. but in essence is very simple. you just simply have to picture in your head. we will then begin our ‘base turn. the relative position of the beacon and your position in relation to it. you can rotate the compass card on the RBI if you wish to make things easier. the inbound QDM minus 30degrees would be 060degrees. we can see that the arrow-head would be pointing approximately towards 060degrees. By transferring the ‘ADF’ needle across in your head onto the HSI. Intentionally Blank Fly UK Virtual Airways P .1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) The way we need to think about this is that the RBI (Relative Bearing Indicator) is called an RBI because it only provides a ‘relative’ bearing.
21 - .1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) Fly UK Virtual Airways P .UKV TRD 3.
Finally. any corrections to be made should be done on the straight sections. the turns should all still be rate 1 and last for 1 minute. the ‘abeam’ and ‘gate’ positions are the most important. This can be remembered using the acronym SID. When in the hold. and don’t forget to keep a constant glance at all of the instruments in order to maintain accurate and sensible flight. for example 1 minute and 10 seconds. Once we have passed over the beacon. Identify it using the audio selector. I won’t go too deeply into it as it is generally common sense. Once were are established on the inbound track. primarily on the outbound track. We would maintain a rate 1 turn all the way round until we established on our inbound track. remember the different positions of the hold. A couple of things we need to quickly discuss are the effects of wind on the hold.22 - . and you would then make the inbound leg a little bit longer than 1 minute. we would start our stop watch and time for 1 minute. we will maintain it until we pass over the beacon again. From the initial start point.UKV TRD 3. you will probably fly a leg time of about 1 minute and 10 seconds. This concludes this document on holding. Also take note that a wind will affect you in the turn. we need to work out where the wind is coming from and what effect it will have on each of the legs.1 HOLDING PATTERNS (02 Mar 10) From the series of images above we can see how the ‘base turn’ develops. we can elect to make another hold and it would be at this point where we would start the turn. If you have a tailwind on the outbound leg. so just be prepared for this. do not alter the time of the turns. if you have any questions or have found anything in this document difficult to understand. Display on the ADF needle (automatic but just check the reading). or we can continue to follow a procedure approach (more on this in another document). So in a nutshell we need to remember a couple of things: Select the appropriate frequency in the box. then there are training sessions available from the training academy! End of Document Fly UK Virtual Airways P . you would probably reduce the leg time to 50 seconds. Vice versa occurs if you have a headwind on the outbound leg.