Holding Patterns


After yesterday’s lesson I had several moments close to emotional breakdown! Thanks to a couple friends that talk me off the edge.

Oh my I’m dense sometimes! After my lesson yesterday in the FMX simulator putting in practice various bits of book knowledge to executing a holding patterns based on a holding Clarence received from ATC over the radio.

I had no issue drawing out my clearance for a holding pattern given aircraft heading and then answering test questions. However when it came to doing it while flying an airplane you often only have 20 to 30 seconds to understand the clearance and figure everything out: your inbound/outbound course and heading and what type of entry to do before you need to start executing it by setting up your avionics, etc.

I had watched some videos on how to visualize it in the cockpit and had purchased this little holding protractor but was confused by it so I put it away prior to taking my knowledge exam.

I now understand where my confusion was coming from. Answering test questions is one thing; however when it comes to visualizing it in the cockpit while flying it’s a different method from what I was taught in ground school.

In ground school you had to be extremely precise and to determine entry I was taught to visualize where my tail of the aircraft was entering. However if you’re 5°-10° off to one side or the other actually flying it doesn’t matter but on a test question you could get it wrong. And when using the directional indicator to visualize your Holding Pattern and you are Aircrafts relation to it in order to determine which type of entry to fly you use where the inbound radial exits.

Now just to get my actual flying skills down as far as hand flying it and also executing it with heading and nav have mode in the G1000 glass cockpit.

Explication of Holding

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