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Quiz: Can You Hold Like A Pro?

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Live from the Flight Deck

Eventually, everyone gets stuck in a holding pattern. For weather. For traffic. For mass gate confusion. So, are you ready?


  1. 1) Standard holding patterns use:

    Correct!  A standard holding pattern uses right hand turns.  (AIM 5-3-8)

    Incorrect. A standard holding pattern uses right hand turns.  (AIM 5-3-8)

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  2. 2) You've been assigned holding by ATC, and are flying faster than the maximum holding speed. When should you start your speed reduction?

    Correct! The AIM requires pilots to reduce speed when 3 minutes or less from the holding fix.  You should initially cross the holding fix at or below the maximum holding airspeed. (AIM 5-3-8)

    Incorrect. The AIM requires pilots to reduce speed when 3 minutes or less from the holding fix.  You should initially cross the holding fix at or below the maximum holding airspeed. (AIM 5-3-8)

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  3. 3) ATC clears: "Saratoga Two Three Eight, hold Southwest of the Goodland VORTAC on the 230 radial, expect further clearance at 1515 zulu." Which of these is the correct pattern?

    Correct! Since ATC's clearance doesn't specify the direction of turns, the pattern uses standard right hand turns.  In this case, draw the pattern on the southwest side of the fix on the 230 radial.

    Incorrect. Since ATC's clearance doesn't specify the direction of turns, the pattern uses standard right hand turns.  In this case, draw the pattern on the southwest side of the fix on the 230 radial.

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  4. 4) ATC clears: "Cirrus Two Five Papa, hold southeast of CONAL as published, expect further clearance at 2330 zulu. Delay is for traffic congestion due to a line of storms moving south over Lamar." You're approaching the fix from the northwest on V366, flying a heading of 130. What entry should you do?

    Correct! In this case, a parallel entry is recommended, but you could also choose to execute a teardrop.  The AIM recommended entries should be selected using your heading as you cross the holding fix, within 5 degrees.  Your heading of 130 favors a parallel entry, but a teardrop entry is within 5 degrees, as well.

    Incorrect. In this case, a parallel entry is recommended, but you could also choose to execute a teardrop.  The AIM recommended entries should be selected using your heading as you cross the holding fix, within 5 degrees.  Your heading of 130 favors a parallel entry, but a teardrop entry is within 5 degrees, as well.

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  5. 5) How can you identify TRUCK in this holding pattern?
    View TRUCK4.TRUCK Chart

    Correct! TRUCK can be identified as an intersection between the radials from SWR and FMG, or by 16 DME from SWR. And, if you have CONAL in your GPS database, you can use GPS as well.

    Incorrect. TRUCK can be identified as an intersection between the radials from SWR and FMG, or by 16 DME from SWR. And, if you have CONAL in your GPS database, you can use GPS as well.

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  6. 6) You're holding at 6000' MSL - what's your maximum holding speed?

    Correct! When holding from the minimum holding altitude (MHA) up to and including 6,000' MSL, you're limited to 200 KIAS (AIM 5-3-8)

    Incorrect. When holding from the minimum holding altitude (MHA) up to and including 6,000' MSL, you're limited to 200 KIAS (AIM 5-3-8)

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  7. 7) You receive the following clearance: "Pilatus Three Foxtrot Charlie, hold east of the Pueblo VOR on the 090 radial, left hand turns, expect further clearance at 0915 Zulu. There is one aircraft ahead of you on the approach." The winds are out of 360 at 30 knots. What will the holding pattern actually look like?

    Correct! The pattern is on the east side of the VOR, and the left hand turns mean that it's on the south side of the radial.  Since the wind is blowing from the north, you'll have the largest turn radius on your outbound turn.  You'll track into the wind on your outbound leg, and have the shortest turn radius as you make your inbound turn.

    Incorrect. The pattern is on the east side of the VOR, and the left hand turns mean that it's on the south side of the radial.  Since the wind is blowing from the north, you'll have the largest turn radius on your outbound turn.  You'll track into the wind on your outbound leg, and have the shortest turn radius as you make your inbound turn.

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Expect further clearance...in awhile.

You scored % A little practice wouldn't hurt - keep studying and you'll be there in no time.

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Not bad, you got most of them.

You scored % Nice work.

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Nailed it!

You scored % Well done.

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5-JEP X
5-NOS X

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Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at colin@boldmethod.com.

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