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Arrival Procedures


When the approach procedure involves a

procedure turn, a maximum speed of not greater than
200 knots (IAS) should be observed from first
overheading the course reversal IAF through the
procedure turn maneuver to ensure containment
within the obstruction clearance area. Pilots should
begin the outbound turn immediately after passing
the procedure turn fix. The procedure turn maneuver
must be executed within the distance specified in the
profile view. The normal procedure turn distance is
10 miles. This may be reduced to a minimum of
5 miles where only Category A or helicopter aircraft
are to be operated or increased to as much as 15 miles
to accommodate high performance aircraft.


A teardrop procedure or penetration turn may

be specified in some procedures for a required course
reversal. The teardrop procedure consists of
departure from an initial approach fix on an outbound
course followed by a turn toward and intercepting the
inbound course at or prior to the intermediate fix or
point. Its purpose is to permit an aircraft to reverse
direction and lose considerable altitude within
reasonably limited airspace. Where no fix is available
to mark the beginning of the intermediate segment, it
must be assumed to commence at a point 10 miles
prior to the final approach fix. When the facility is
located on the airport, an aircraft is considered to be
on final approach upon completion of the penetration
turn. However, the final approach segment begins on
the final approach course 10 miles from the facility.


A holding pattern in lieu of procedure turn

may be specified for course reversal in some
procedures. In such cases, the holding pattern is
established over an intermediate fix or a final
approach fix. The holding pattern distance or time
specified in the profile view must be observed. For a

−in−lieu−of−PT, the holding pattern direction

must be flown as depicted and the specified leg
length/timing must not be exceeded. Maximum
holding airspeed limitations as set forth for all
holding patterns apply. The holding pattern maneuver
is completed when the aircraft is established on the
inbound course after executing the appropriate entry.
If cleared for the approach prior to returning to the
holding fix, and the aircraft is at the prescribed
altitude, additional circuits of the holding pattern are
not necessary nor expected by ATC. If pilots elect to
make additional circuits to lose excessive altitude or
to become better established on course, it is their

responsibility to so advise ATC upon receipt of their
approach clearance.


Some approach charts have an arrival holding pattern
depicted at the IAF using a “thin line” holding symbol. It
is charted where holding is frequently required prior to
starting the approach procedure so that detailed holding
instructions are not required. The arrival holding pattern
is not authorized unless assigned by Air Traffic Control.
Holding at the same fix may also be depicted on the en route
chart. A hold

−in−lieu of procedure turn is depicted by a

“thick line” symbol, and is part of the instrument approach
procedure as described in paragraph 5

−4−9. (See U. S.

Terminal Procedures booklets page E1 for both examples.)


A procedure turn is not required when an

approach can be made directly from a specified
intermediate fix to the final approach fix. In such
cases, the term “NoPT” is used with the appropriate
course and altitude to denote that the procedure turn
is not required. If a procedure turn is desired, and
when cleared to do so by ATC, descent below the
procedure turn altitude should not be made until the
aircraft is established on the inbound course, since
some NoPT altitudes may be lower than the
procedure turn altitudes.

b. Limitations on Procedure Turns


In the case of a radar initial approach to a final

approach fix or position, or a timed approach from a
holding fix, or where the procedure specifies NoPT,
no pilot may make a procedure turn unless, when final
approach clearance is received, the pilot so advises
ATC and a clearance is received to execute a
procedure turn.


When a teardrop procedure turn is depicted

and a course reversal is required, this type turn must
be executed.


When a holding pattern replaces a procedure

turn, the holding pattern must be followed, except
when RADAR VECTORING is provided or when
NoPT is shown on the approach course. The
recommended entry procedures will ensure the
aircraft remains within the holding pattern’s
protected airspace. As in the procedure turn, the
descent from the minimum holding pattern altitude to
the final approach fix altitude (when lower) may not
commence until the aircraft is established on the
inbound course. Where a holding pattern is
established in

−lieu−of a procedure turn, the maxi-

mum holding pattern airspeeds apply.


7110.65R CHG 2