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On this approach plate, the holding pattern shown is depicted for a missed approach:

Approach plate: PADU NDB-A RWY 30 CIRCLING

However, in the notes, it says to

Descend to 6000 in holding pattern.

even though you should only climb to 4700 feet, according to the missed approach procedure:

Climb to 3000 via 166° bearing then climbing left turn to 4700 direct DUT NDB/DME and hold.

What does the note actually mean (especially since it seems to be implying you would be higher than 6000 on the missed approach procedure)?

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That note actually refers to the holding pattern in general, not to the missed approach procedure. Your reading of the missed is correct.

Descend to 6000 in holding pattern.

Refers to descent from the MSA or any other enroute altitude. Before transitioning from enroute to the outbound initial segment (departing the IAF) the pilot must descend in the hold to 6000. Once leaving DUT outbound, descend as specified to 4700.

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    $\begingroup$ But would that mean you'd follow the same holding pattern (i.e. direction and side of the NDB)? Because if I'm reading correctly, that'd put you on the opposite direction of the outbound PT, and there isn't anything that says to hold-in-lieu of the PT. $\endgroup$ – Qantas 94 Heavy Dec 20 '13 at 2:50
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, I think you would. The KPAE VOR16R approach looks a lot like this, and I've done lots of instructional flights that transition in an unideal way from the hold to the outbound. You're correct that you cannot do a hold-in-lieu-of the PT. Remember that the same question could apply to transitioning from the missed approach to the outbound in any situation! $\endgroup$ – egid Dec 20 '13 at 3:53
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    $\begingroup$ In slightly simpler terms, the first note that references 6000' is about the approach. The second note that references 4700' is about the missed approach. $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Feb 9 '15 at 22:55
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In this approach (and several others in Alaska) you may need to descend in a holding pattern from a higher assigned altitude to one that is used to begin the approach. For example, you might be assigned 10,000 ft. coming to Dutch Harbor from Cold Bay on G8. When you get to DUT, the initial approach fix, you would descend in the holding pattern from 10,000 to 6000, and continue to the procedure turn from there.

As Egid said, it does not affect the missed approach, in which you climb to 4,700 feet and hold at DUT.

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