I'm wondering why I got this question wrong, as I thought the point of hold positions were to protect aircraft from each other. Any ideas?

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    $\begingroup$ Take small comfort that your answer isn’t technically “wrong”, it just isn’t the best answer. $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2022 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ This is the evil of multiple guess questions. They are diabolically structured with a correct and correctish-sounding answer and are based on the idea that parsing the difference is easy if you know the material really well, and if not, your answer is more of a guess with a 50/50 chance of failure. Unfortunately, this requires a somewhat lawyerly skill at linguistic interpretation. Multiple guess exams must be hell for ESL types. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Jan 5, 2022 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Aviation.SE! The downfall of these multiple choice questions is that they sometimes have more than one answer... You'd think it would be easier with only three options. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2022 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


You are correct that the general idea of a "runway hold position" sign is to keep aircraft from hitting each other, but that applies to all three answers. You need to tighten your focus a little.

The Aeronautical Information Manual paragraph 2–3–8 is a reference you can use for this question. You can see that a runway hold position sign (2–3–8b1) denotes a holding position short of a runway itself while a runway approach area holding position sign (2–3–8b2) protects the approach (or departure) path to a runway even though the taxiway does not intersect with the actual runway pavement. Your selected answer "C" refers to a runway approach area holding position sign.

That said, I would call the question misleading because both answers "A" and "B" might refer to a runway holding position sign. But if you carefully parse the wording, answer "A" refers to intersecting runways in general while "B" refers specifically to the point where a taxiway enters a runway; a runway holding position sign encountered on another runway does not denote intersecting runways in general but—just like on a taxiway—the point where a runway enters another runway. It's a very fine point, but if I give the test-writer the benefit of the doubt I can see the difference.

...I'll still call it a misleading question though. But it's the sort of question you have to expect from the FAA.


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