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Arrival Procedures



9. Procedure Turn and Hold


lieu of

Procedure Turn


A procedure turn is the maneuver prescribed

when it is necessary to reverse direction to establish

the aircraft inbound on an intermediate or final

approach course. The procedure turn or

hold−in−lieu−of−PT is a required maneuver when it

is depicted on the approach chart, unless cleared by

ATC for a straight−in approach. Additionally, the

procedure turn or hold−in−lieu−of−PT is not

permitted when the symbol “No PT” is depicted on

the initial segment being used, when a RADAR

VECTOR to the final approach course is provided,

or when conducting a timed approach from a holding

fix. The altitude prescribed for the procedure turn is

a minimum altitude until the aircraft is established on

the inbound course. The maneuver must be

completed within the distance specified in the

profile view. For a hold−in−lieu−of−PT, the holding

pattern direction must be flown as depicted and the

specified leg length/timing must not be exceeded.


The pilot may elect to use the procedure turn or

−in−lieu−of−PT when it is not required by the

procedure, but must first receive an amended clearance
from ATC. If the pilot is uncertain whether the ATC
clearance intends for a procedure turn to be conducted or
to allow for a straight

−in approach, the pilot must

immediately request clarification from ATC (14 CFR
Section 91.123).


On U.S. Government charts, a barbed arrow

indicates the maneuvering side of the outbound

course on which the procedure turn is made.

Headings are provided for course reversal using the

45 degree type procedure turn. However, the point at

which the turn may be commenced and the type and

rate of turn is left to the discretion of the pilot (limited

by the charted remain within xx NM distance). Some

of the options are the 45 degree procedure turn, the

racetrack pattern, the teardrop procedure turn, or the

80 degree 

$ 260 degree course reversal. Racetrack

entries should be conducted on the maneuvering side

where the majority of protected airspace resides. If an

entry places the pilot on the non−maneuvering side of

the PT, correction to intercept the outbound course

ensures remaining within protected airspace. Some

procedure turns are specified by procedural track.

These turns must be flown exactly as depicted.


Descent to the procedure turn (PT)

completion altitude from the PT fix altitude (when

one has been published or assigned by ATC) must not

begin until crossing over the PT fix or abeam and

proceeding outbound. Some procedures contain a

note in the chart profile view that says “Maintain

(altitude) or above until established outbound for

procedure turn” (See FIG 

5−4−15). Newer

procedures will simply depict an “at or above”

altitude at the PT fix without a chart note (See

FIG 5−4−16). Both are there to ensure required

obstacle clearance is provided in the procedure turn

entry zone (See FIG 5−4−17). Absence of a chart note

or specified minimum altitude adjacent to the PT fix

is an indication that descent to the procedure turn

altitude can commence immediately upon crossing

over the PT fix, regardless of the direction of flight.

This is because the minimum altitudes in the PT entry

zone and the PT maneuvering zone are the same.

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