ATC should issue holding instructions at least 5 minutes before reaching a clearance limit fix. (I/103)
  1. PARALLEL - If a/c heading is within 70°of the inbound course, turn out-bound in the direction of holding.  If not within 70°, turn outbound in the shorter direction. If the turn places you on the non-holding side, either parallel (adjust for wind) or attempt to intercept the holding course outbound then turn toward the holding side and proceed direct or intercept the holding course to the fix. (I/103)
  2. TEARDROP - Not to exceed 45° from the outbound course.  Technique for "conveniently aligned"- teardrop course is within top 45°indexes. (I/103)


  1. When within 3 mins. of holding fix, reduce airspeed. (I/103)
  2. Normal Speeds -GW. >  257,500# - 220 KCAS
    GW.  < 257,500# -200 KCAS (D/2-67)
  1. If at the max. endurance alt. hold at best endurance speed +10 knots. (D/2-67)
    maximum endurance - fuel flow is at its minimum at optimum altitude and max. endurance airspeed.
    best endurance - fuel flow is at its minimum at a specific or assigned altitude. (P/6-2)
    To determine endurance airspeeds/altitudes, see P/6-3. (Fig. 6-2)
  2. If above the max. endurance altitude, hold at best endurance airspeed + 10 knots or stall speed at 30° bank + 25 knots, whichever is greater. (D/2-67)
  3. If you are below the max endurance altitude, hold at 200/220 knots, as applicable.
  4. When fuel is not a factor, low altitude holding may be conducted with the gear down and flaps APPROACH at approach speed +30 knots. (D/2-67)

TIMING (I/103)

A. How long: (max INBOUND leg)

    1. Above 14,000' MSL - 1 1/2 min. 
    2. At or below 14,000' MSL - 1 min.

B. When to begin timing:

    1. Inbound - wings level inbound.
    2. Outbound - when over or abeam the fix.  If you cannot determine abeam, then wings level outbound.
    3. TACAN - no timing; start turns no later than specified DME.
    4. When you receive a clearance specifying the time to depart a holding pattern, adjust the pattern within the limits of the established holding procedure so as to depart at the time specified. You may shorten the pattern anytime ATC requires it, however, never lengthen beyond the specified time or distance.


  1. You are considered to be in the holding pattern at the time of initial station passage of the holding fix. (I/103)
  2. Standard = right turn. (I/102)
  3. Max. holding a/s - 230 KIAS (GP/5-6)
  4. Climb - normal climb a/s (310 KIAS max). (GP/5-6)
  5. To descend - descend at holding airspeed.  If established in a holding pattern that has a published minimum holding altitude, you may descend to that altitude when cleared for the approach. (I/106)
  6. You are expected to adjust for wind whenever in holding. (Including the entry.) (I/105)
  7. On the initial outbound leg, do not exceed the appropriate time for the altitude unless compensating for a known wind.  Adjust subsequent legs as necessary so as not to exceed the maximum inbound time.  You may shorten the pattern anytime ATC requires it; however, never lengthen beyond the specified time or distance. (I/103)
  8. In extreme wind conditions, the inbound leg may exceed the 1 or 1 1/2 min. limit. In this case, you are authorized to exceed the time limit inbound. (I/104)
  9. If you are established in a holding pattern that has a published minimum holding altitude & are assigned an alt. above that published altitude, you may descend to the published minimum holding altitude when you are cleared for the approach, unless otherwise instructed by the controlling agency. (I/106) 
  10. For those holding patterns where there are no published minimum holding altitudes, upon receiving an approach clearance, you must maintain the last assigned altitude until established on a segment of the instrument approach procedure being flown.  (If a lower altitude is desired, request clearance.) (I/106)
  11. It is always advantageous to conduct holding as close to cruise altitude as possible. After the holding operation has been completed, it will reduce the fuel required to return to cruise speed and altitude.
  12. When a decision is to be made regarding whether or not to descend, the fuel required to descend, hold, and climb back to cruise altitude must be considered in order to reduce the fuel consumed to a minimum for the overall holding operation. (P/6-1)
  13. When no delay is expected, the controller should issue a clearance beyond the fix ASAP, and at least 5 min. before the a/c reaches the clearance limit. (I/103)
  14. When the a/c is 3 min. or less from a clearance limit, and a clearance beyond the limit has not been received, the pilot is expected to start a speed reduction in order to cross the fix at or below the maximum holding speed. (I/103)