So, I'm flying IFR to Newport (KONP) for the ILS RWY 16. There's an aircraft on the approach, so I'm cleared direct BUHRS at 5000' to enter the hold as published.
I get to BUHRS, I turn outbound on the hold, and am "cleared for the approach". (Note: Not "straight-in").
So, what is my next step?
AIM 5-4-9 says I'm required to fly the procedure turn, but I can't find a definition of what that actually means (i.e. do I have to overfly the waypoint to "start" the procedure turn, or does it just mean remain in the protected area?). The options seem to be:
1) Turn back to BUHRS, overfly BUHRS, turn right (ending up exactly back where I am right now), intercept the localizer outbound, descend to 2600.
2) Intercept the localizer outbound, descend to 2600.
If #2 is correct, then there's an additional point of consideration. 5-4-9a1 says I have complete discretion in how I fly my procedure turn. Certainly turning immediately inbound fits within that discretion (instead of turn right, intercept outbound, turn left, turn left, turn right, intercept inbound). Or, what about continuing to fly outbound by heading for a minute then turn inbound and intercept the localizer?
A simplistic reading of the AIM seems to indicate #1 is correct. I asked AOPA, they say #2 is correct.
Is #2 correct? If it is, wouldn't an immediate turn inbound also be correct? What is the definition of "procedure turn"? Does it require flying over a fix to "start"? Or can you be anywhere in the protected area?
The easy solution is to ask for a straight-in clearance, but assume you're not in radio contact or your request is denied.