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AIM

10/12/17

5−3−21

En Route Procedures

FIG 5−3−3

Holding Pattern Descriptive Terms

ABEAM

ABEAM

HOLDING SIDE

HOLDING SIDE

OUTBOUND

END

OUTBOUND

END

HOLDING

COURSE

HOLDING

COURSE

OUTBOUND

OUTBOUND

INBOUND

INBOUND

NONHOLDING SIDE

NONHOLDING SIDE

FIX END

FIX END

RECIPROCAL

RECIPROCAL

FIX

FIX

j. Holding pattern airspace protection is based on

the following procedures.

1. Descriptive Terms.

(a) Standard Pattern. Right turns 

(See FIG 5−3−3.)

(b) Nonstandard Pattern. Left turns

2. Airspeeds.

(a) All aircraft may hold at the following

altitudes and maximum holding airspeeds:

TBL 5−3−20

Altitude (MSL)

Airspeed (KIAS)

MHA − 6,000’

200

6,001’ − 14,000’

230

14,001’ and above

265

NOTE−

These are the maximum indicated air speeds applicable to

all holding.

(b) The following are exceptions to the

maximum holding airspeeds:

(1) Holding patterns from 6,001’ to

14,000’ may be restricted to a maximum airspeed of

210 KIAS. This nonstandard pattern will be depicted

by an icon.

(2) Holding patterns may be restricted to a

maximum speed. The speed restriction is depicted in

parenthesis inside the holding pattern on the chart:

e.g., (175). The aircraft should be at or below the

maximum speed prior to initially crossing the holding

fix to avoid exiting the protected airspace. Pilots

unable to comply with the maximum airspeed

restriction should notify ATC.

(3) Holding patterns at USAF airfields

only − 310 KIAS maximum, unless otherwise

depicted.

(4) Holding patterns at Navy fields only −

230 KIAS maximum, unless otherwise depicted.

(5) All helicopter/power lift aircraft hold-

ing on a “COPTER” instrument procedure is

predicated on a minimum airspeed of 90 KIAS unless

charted otherwise.

(6) When a climb−in hold is specified by a

published procedure (for example, “Climb−in

holding pattern to depart XYZ VORTAC at or above

10,000.” or “All aircraft climb−in TRUCK holding

pattern to cross TRUCK Int at or above 11,500 before

proceeding on course.”), additional obstacle protec-

tion area has been provided to allow for greater

airspeeds in the climb for those aircraft requiring

them. A maximum airspeed of 310 KIAS is permitted

in Climb−in−holding, unless a maximum holding

airspeed is published, in which case that maximum

airspeed is applicable. The airspeed limitations in 14

CFR Section 91.117, Aircraft Speed, still apply.

(c) The following phraseology may be used

by an ATCS to advise a pilot of the maximum holding

airspeed for a holding pattern airspace area.

PHRASEOLOGY−

(AIRCRAFT IDENTIFICATION) (holding instructions,

when needed) MAXIMUM HOLDING AIRSPEED IS

(speed in knots).

9/13/18

AIM