Let's say you have to do a parallel or tear-drop entry to enter this distance-based holding pattern. Do you still fly outbound from the fix for one minute and then make your turn inbound to re-intercept the fix or are you taking it to 4 NM?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Av.SE $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Jun 26 at 4:25
  • $\begingroup$ This is ultimately up to pilot discretion. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Jun 27 at 14:00

I haven't found any specific guidance for hand flying entries to RNAV (RNP) holding patterns. But part of the concept of RNAV is that the navigation system can provide the complete desired path including hold entries.

Referring to RTCA DO-236C RNP MASPS and the requirements for holding operations, I find the following: The dimensions of the hold pattern are defined based on altitude, airspeed, bank angle, and an allowance for wind. The length of the inbound/outbound leg is defined by the database or entry. In your case this is 4 NM, and is defined as d1. The width of the pattern (d2) is computed based on the above variables.

Without the details, we can still make an approximation. If you're flying at 120 kts and performing a 2 min turn (1 min for 180 deg), your pattern width (d2) would be about 1.3 NM.

The rules include the following statement:

When performing an entry into the holding pattern, the navigation system is permitted to use an inbound leg length (d1) that is equal to the holding pattern width (d2) instead of the length defined in the database or from pilot entry.

So the end result is that your entry cannot exceed the 4 NM leg length, and could have an inbound leg length as short as 1.3 NM.


No the hold makes use of a straight line distance from a GPS identified waypoint and is not timed. This can also be done with holds on a VOR/DME and or VORTAC using a DME or GPS distance from the Navaid.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you have a source for this? (Also note: the question was about the entry, not the actual hold itself) $\endgroup$ – Bianfable Jun 26 at 8:48
  • $\begingroup$ See the FAA’s Instrument Procedures Handbook. If you have the equipment that can measure distances (which would be required here in order to fly that approach) and the hold is published with and outbound leg defined in a straight line distance from the hold point, there’s no point in timing the outbound leg. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Jun 26 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ Yes there is a point: expedite the approach. A hold entry in lieu of procedure turn would be expedited at lower speeds—90 kits for example—by flying a one minute teardrop entry leg rather than a 4 NM leg. The time saved would be approximately 5 minutes in this case. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Jun 27 at 14:05

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