Clearance ATC should issue holding clearance at least five minutes before the aircraft
reaches the clearance limit. The elements of the holding clearance are as follows:
The direction to hold from the holding fix. This is the general compass location in
terms of the eight cardinal compass points (i.e., N, NE, E, SE, etc.).
The name of the holding fix (may be omitted if included at the beginning of the
transmission as the clearance limit).
The radial, course, bearing, airway, or route on which the aircraft is to hold.
Leg length in miles if DME is to be used.
Direction of turn if left turns are to be made (referred to as nonstandard holding).
Time to expect further clearance and any pertinent additional delay information
(times are given in ZULU/GMT).
If the holding pattern is charted and the controller does not
issue complete holding instructions, the pilot is expected to hold as
depicted on the appropriate chart. When the pattern is charted, the
controller may omit all holding instructions except the charted
holding direction and the statement "AS PUBLISHED" (e.g.,
"HOLD EAST AS PUBLISHED"). Controllers shall always issue
complete holding instructions when pilots request them.
Request expect further clearance time if not automatically
provided by ATC. This time will be used to depart the holding pattern
(to proceed enroute or to commence the approach if holding at
destination) in the event of communications failure.
Orbits The holding pattern requires three types of orbits, which are accomplished
Entry orbit expeditiously establishes the aircraft inbound on the holding course.
Nowind orbit determines the initial corrections to make for existing winds.
Correction orbits update and refine the wind corrections.
Timing Timing is generally associated with VOR holding. Some TACAN holding
patterns may require timing if there is no DME specified. Timing is measured from the point the
aircraft is wings level inbound to the holding fix to the time the aircraft crosses the holding fix.
This timing should be:
One minute when holding at or below 14,000 feet MSL.
RADIO INSTRUMENT FLIGHT PROCEDURES 6-33