My “On Final, On the Gauges”
article in the August AOPA Pilot
discussed IFR final approach procedures, and it apparently hit a nerve in the “holding in lieu of” department. My read of the AIM, as set out in AIM 5-4-9, is that you don’t need to make that trip around the holding pattern–even if it’s published in bold on the approach plate–as long as: No PT is on the chart, when you’re getting radar vectors to the final approach course, when you’re doing a timed approach from a holding fix. Anyone ever done a timed approach? Not me.
Member George Shanks wrote me to emphasize that most RNAV (GPS) approaches with the “T”-style entry paths to the FAF are also exempt from holding. “If the approach is in the “T” or inverted “L” format and fly-by waypoints are in use … it would not be necessary to use the course reversal pattern.”
Jose Riera has a good question: “If a holding pattern is depicted at the FAF, you are required to make one turn around before resuming your course inbound to the runway. Can you tell me why this is?”
Personally, I don’t know. Maybe it has to do with steering clear of obstacles or terrain. All I know is that most times you’ll be on vectors from ATC, and a hold-in-lieu-of PT would be unlikely. Which is good, because let’s face it, most of us just don’t want to hold …..
Anybody else with views on holding at the FAF?