IFR Diary, Day 2: Saturday, August 29 


     We didn't fly today.  In the afternoon we worked on approach
     technique and holding patterns on my PC simulator.  We'd found
     approaches that had holding patterns very early in the missed
     approach procedure. We set up a wind simulation where the outbound
     leg was 20 seconds long and required a 30 degree crab against the
     published heading.  Good point, I said, but not very likely. Charles

     I noticed that Charles was directing me to what appeared to be a
     parallel entry where a teardrop entry was indicated, possibly even a
     direct entry. He then said, "There are two kinds of holds:  ATC
     procedural holds and crisis holds."  He defines an ATC procedural
     hold as one in which you're given at least three minutes of warning
     to prepare to hold.

     A crisis hold is one that's dropped on you suddenly by ATC, or one
     that occurs very early in a missed approach procedure. In these
     cases, get into the hold in the simplest, safest, most reliable way
     you can.  This technique Charles calls his "crisis" entry:

          1. Fly to the fix.
          2. Turn to the outbound heading and fly for one minute.
          3. Execute a 270-degree turn toward the protected side (the
             side of the race track).
          4. Intercept the inbound course and track it back to the fix.
     He observes that many applicants bust the check ride because they
     become confused trying to puzzle out the "correct" technique for a
     hold that comes up very quickly in a missed approach procedure.  He
     claims he has never had a student busted for using the crisis hold
     technique because a good examiner appreciates common sense.

     Should I get a leisurely hold instruction (three or four minutes
     warning) on my check ride, Charles advises me to head toward the fix
     and on the way figure out the FAA-recommended entry.  If required to
     hold for any other reason, and the recommended pattern entry is not
     obvious, use the "crisis entry."

     "Remember," he smiled, "the hold you do on your check ride may be
     the last one you do for years.  If and when the day arrives for you to
     hold, you're not going to be real fresh on the FAA entry techniques.
     Your first priority is staying within the protected airspace."

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