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En Route Procedures

system. For example, entering or executing the holding pattern above 14,000 feet when intending to hold below
14,000 feet may result in applying 1 


  minute timing below 14,000 feet.


Some systems permit the pilot to modify leg time of  holding patterns defined in the navigation database; for example, a


lieu of procedure turn. In most RNAV systems, the holding pattern time remains at the pilot

modified time and will

not revert back to the coded time if the aircraft descends to a lower altitude where a shorter time interval applies.


RNAV systems are not able to alert the pilot for excursions outside of holding pattern protected

airspace since the dimensions of this airspace are not included in the navigation database. In addition, the
dimensions of holding pattern protected airspace vary with altitude for a charted holding pattern, even when the
hold is used for the same application. Close adherence to the pilot actions described in this section reduce the
likelihood of exceeding the boundary of holding pattern protected airspace when using RNAV lateral guidance
to conduct holding.


Holding patterns may be stored in the RNAV system’s navigation database and include coding with

parameters defining how the RNAV system will conduct the hold. For example, coding will determine whether
holding is conducted to manual termination (HM), continued holding until the aircraft reaches a specified altitude
(HA), or holding is conducted until the holding fix is crossed the first time after entry (HF). Some systems do
not store all holding patterns, and may only store patterns associated with missed approaches and hold



of procedure turn (HILPT). Some store all holding as standard patterns and require pilot action to conduct

standard holding (left turns).


Pilots are cautioned that multiple holding patterns may be established at the same fix. These holding

patterns may differ in respect to turn directions and leg lengths depending on their application as an en route
holding pattern, a holding pattern charted on a SID or STAR, or when used on an instrument approach procedure.
Many RNAV systems limit the database coding at a particular fix to a single holding pattern definition. Pilots
extracting the holding pattern from the navigation database are responsible for confirming that the holding
pattern conforms to the assigned charted holding pattern in terms of turn direction, speed limit, timing, and


If ATC assigns holding that is not charted, then the pilot is responsible for programming the RNAV

system with the assigned holding course, turn direction, speed limit, leg length, or leg time.


Changes made after the initial execution may not apply until the next circuit of the holding pattern

if the aircraft is in close proximity to the holding fix.

8. Pilot Action.

 The following actions are recommended to ensure that the aircraft remains within holding

protected airspace when holding is performed using either conventional NAVAID guidance or when using RNAV
lateral guidance.


Speed. When ATC furnishes advance notice of holding, start speed reduction to be at or below the

maximum holding speed allowed at least 3 minutes prior to crossing the holding fix. If advance notice by ATC
is not provided, begin speed reduction as expeditiously as practical. It is acceptable to allow RNAV systems to
determine an appropriate deceleration point prior to the holding fix and to manage the speed reduction to the
RNAV computed holding speed. If the pilot does not permit the RNAV system to manage the deceleration from
the computed point, the actual hold pattern size at holding entry may differ from the holding pattern size
computed by the RNAV system.


Aircraft are expected to enter holding at or below the maximum holding speed established in

paragraph 5


8j2(a) or the charted maximum holding speed.


All fixed wing aircraft conducting holding should fly at speeds at or above 90 KIAS to minimize

the influence of wind drift.


When RNAV lateral guidance is used in fixed wing airplanes, it is desirable to enter and conduct

holding at the lowest practical airspeed consistent with the airplane’s recommended holding speed to address the
cumulative errors associated with RNAV holding and increase the probability of remaining within protected