Before holding over a VOR, you must study the approach chart and configure your aircraft.
This approach chart describes the procedure (LFBT approach chart):
When you will arrive from an arrival procedure in order to perform a holding pattern, the air traffic controller (ATC) shall give you:
In our example, the controller gives a direct to IAF which is TBO VOR.
It is mandatory to join the hold if no approach clearance has been issued by the ATC upon reaching the IAF.
Before reaching the IAF, as the pilot in command, you shall prepare the holding pattern:
The Air traffic controller may issue holding pattern clearance at this time.
Be careful that the air traffic controller could not give you any holding clearance.
If you do not receive any approach clearance over the initial approach fix, the pilot shall initiate the published holding procedure except when charts prescribe another route to follow.
Above the VOR, you will now start holding the published holding pattern:
As your heading is 241, perform directly the holding pattern without any specific integration manoeuvre (direct entry).
The holding pattern should be done at constant IAS speed.
When you are abeam the VOR, the holding outbound leg starts when you are abeam the beacon.
If your turn has been finished, and the aircraft is not abeam the VOR, do not start the chronometer before the abeam position.
After one minute (the current outbound leg time), the outbound leg is finished. > It is time to turn to the inbound leg
You are now inside the final turn to the inbound leg.
After the wind compensation manoeuvre to establish the inbound radial, you shall continue to:
Due to wind effects, the aircraft will not join the radial direct at the end of the turn:
In our example below, after the 180° turn, we face an overshoot. The aircraft has crossed the radial and cannot establish it. As the pilot in command, we shall re-intercept the radial.
When facing an undershoot, the heading should be stopped 30° before the complete 180° in order to make a quickest radial establishment.
Pay attention that just before reaching the initial approach fix (IAF) again:
- If you have received the approach clearance during the holding procedure, you should leave the holding pattern at the VOR beacon (IAF) (or for some particular cases, leave the pattern at the published point) and proceed with the given approach procedure.
- If you have not received the approach clearance during the holding procedure, you shall stay in the holding pattern and perform another one without any additional instructions (go to chapter 5).
If the air traffic controller gives you the approach clearance too late as the pilot in command, you can ask another holding procedure in order to prepare the aircraft for the approach phase. Do not begin your approach if you estimate that you are not enough prepared for it.