For context: I know what a hold is, I know why we have them, but this is something I have not heard before.

I was recently flying VFR outside CAS (Controlled Airspace) with a friend of mine and we was outside the London CTA. We thought it would be interesting to eavesdrop on Heathrows' FIN Director Frequency - 120.4 on the COM 2. We both heard a clearance which we couldn't quite get our head around, it was:

BAW819K, Turn right to Lambourne, cancel the hold, leave Lambourne 265

We both look at each other and go "Eh, that sounded different". Shortly we heard it again:

EIN1LT, Make a right turn back to Bovingdon, leave Bovingdon heading 180 degrees

Could anybody explain what this means? Any explanation?


1 Answer 1


Those are both very common clearances given to aircraft that are already in the hold near Heathrow. The controller is just giving instructions on how they want the aircraft to leave the hold. It means to turn back directly to the holding point, and then leave the fix on a specific heading as their first vector.

  • $\begingroup$ Good evening, thank you for this answer. I appreciate the clarification. I haven't heard of this method of clearing aircraft out of holds before. Is this documented in any phraseology document or procedure manual that I can refer to for further information? I wasn't taught this when I was doing my PPL (But was of course taught holds and hold calculations ETC) and thought some extra info would be most beneficial to me! Thank you, Harry $\endgroup$
    – Harry118
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 17:05

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