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In FAR/AIM, 5-3-8. Holding part, There is a sentence that says

(b) Outbound leg timing begins over/abeam the fix, whichever occurs later.

I got to know that the word 'over' is for parallel or teardrop entry. But I still can't understand the intention of 'whichever occurs later'.

Could anybody explain this more specifically?

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  • $\begingroup$ "Over" would be appropriate to disambiguate what happens in parallel or teardrop entry. But I don't understand the "whichever occurs later" logic. The sentence makes most sense to me with the final word removed. $\endgroup$ – BowlOfRed Aug 14 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ BowlofRed/ Thanks, now I realize the meaning of 'over'. Still the last sentence is obscure, so I modified my post a bit. $\endgroup$ – Student412 Aug 14 at 6:12
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The text is written that way to take into account the various type of holding entries. In case of a parallel or teardrop entry, the outbound leg starts after passing over the fix. In all other cases the outbound leg start after passing abeam the fix, following a turn that starts over the fix.

Case 1: Established in a holding pattern

So when established in a holding pattern, the outbound leg starts abeam the fix.

The sequence is:

  1. inbound leg
  2. pass over the fix
  3. turn outbound
  4. pass abeam the fix
  5. outbound leg
  6. turn inbound
  7. repeat from 1.

In this case it is clear that the time of the outbound leg should start when you pass abeam the fix, which occurs later in the sequence.

Case 2: Entry into holding pattern

diagram with holding entry procedures

Case 2.1: Parallel Entry into holding pattern

When entering the holding using a parallel entry ((a) in the diagram) the sequence is:

  1. fly to the fix
  2. pass over the fix
  3. turn outbound course
  4. outbound leg (on non-holding side)
  5. turn to inbound leg
  6. intercept inbound leg
  7. follow sequence for established in a holding pattern

In this case the timing of the outbound leg should start when you pass over the fix. From this, it follows that the outbound time will include the time spent in the outbound turn (3.).

Case 2.2: Teardrop Entry into holding pattern

When entering the holding using a teardrop entry ((b) in the diagram) the sequence is:

  1. fly to the fix
  2. pass over the fix
  3. turn outbound course
  4. outbound leg (30 degree into holding side)
  5. turn to inbound leg
  6. intercept inbound leg
  7. follow sequence for established in a holding pattern

In this case the timing of the outbound leg should start when you pass over the fix. From this, it follows that the outbound time will include the time spent in the outbound turn (3.).

Case 2.3: Direct Entry into holding pattern from holding side

When entering the holding using a direct entry from the holding side ((c) in the diagram, sector on the holding side) the sequence is:

  1. fly to the fix
  2. pass over the fix
  3. turn outbound
  4. pass abeam the fix
  5. outbound leg
  6. turn inbound
  7. follow sequence for established in a holding pattern

In this case it is clear that the time of the outbound leg should start when you pass abeam the fix, which is later in the sequence.

Case 2.4: Direct Entry into holding pattern from non-holding side

When entering the holding using a direct entry from the non-holding side ((c) in the diagram, sector on the non-holding side), you may not complete the turn before being abeam the fix. In that case the sequence is:

  1. fly to the fix
  2. pass over the fix
  3. turn outbound course
  4. outbound leg
  5. turn inbound
  6. follow sequence for established in a holding pattern

In this case it is clear that the time of the outbound leg should start when you pass over the fix. From this, it follows that the outbound time will include the time spent in the outbound turn (3.).

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It's nothing to do with the type of entry, it's down to your accuracy of flying. If you are flying accurately, you will pass directly overhead the holding fix, in which case you hit the stopwatch as you pass overhead. But if you fly slightly to the side, for whatever reason, then you hit the stopwatch as you pass abeam the fix as being a rough approximation of the overhead.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ How could you pass both over and abeam the fix (so requiring the "whichever occurs later" wording)? $\endgroup$ – Dannie Aug 14 at 11:30

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