Which Holding Pattern Sector Entry should be used?

When it comes to entering IFR holding patterns, you need to ask, which holding pattern sector entry should be used?  It depends on which direction you are approaching the navigation aid from.  There are three sector entry procedures; Direct Entry, Parallel and a Tear Drop.  Each entry procedure is designed to make the entry into a holding pattern as smooth as possible.

This short video shows you how to visualize the holding pattern on your DG as part of your instrument approach brief.  When you can visualize the holding pattern, you can then determine which sector entry would best suit you.  It comes down to the direction you are approaching the navigation aid from.

When you are visualizing the holding pattern, keep in mind you must also remember if the holding pattern is Left or RightDo NOT mix Left and Right up, otherwise you may select the incorrect sector entry.

Included at the start of this video is a brief example of a Procedure Turn or Course Reversal Procedure.  I have not come across a procedure turn in Australia, but there would be one somewhere?  In the US, there are many instrument approaches with procedure turns.  It is worth noting there are several types of procedure turns, this video only demonstrates one such procedure – the 80º/260º procedure turn.

I hope this short video was helpful in briefly explaining how to visualize the holding pattern and determine the correct sector entry for your approach.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email, make a comment below or on the video.  Thank you.

Ashley Wincer

An Indianapolis based Australian working towards building flight time to meet the US ATP requirements. Currently works full time as a contractor for multiple Part 121 US Airlines. Previously has worked as a US Flight Dispatcher, Ramp Agent and Operations Ramp Controller.

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