Hold present position

Hello Everyone,

I have recently received a few messages after i sent hold present position commands to a few inbound and they were not happy about it.

If the airspace is not busy and you are reaching near the airport at 20,000 feet or above, it is more practical to stay in one place using a hold position command until you reach a lower altitude that can be vectored into final approach.

You should be more proactive and initiate your descent before reaching Approach area, a quick rule of thumb for top of descent is :
subtract your current altitude by the target altitude and multiply by 0.003 (Assuming a 2000ft/min) this will give you the distance at which you should initiate your descent.

For more realistic people, there is a few flight path simulators that give you an accurate estimate of your elevation at each distance.

And one last thing, your speed ! Even if you are allowed to go higher than 250 Kts above 10,000 feet doesn’t mean you have to stay above that speed level, anticipate the separation with the next aircraft in order to avoid any Detour we ATC love to give you ;)

Most importantly Have Fun everyone!


What is a hold position command…isn’t that for ground…
Or are you talking about 360* hold patterns

If you read the post you can clearly tell that he is talking about approach and holding patterns. :)

Or a better way is always remember to start your descent when you’re about 225nm +/- away from the airport (distance varies with altitude). If you’re at FL 410, you might wanna start descending at 250nm, if you’re at FL 310, you’re fine to start descending at around 220nm. VS for any situation should be at 1000 - 1200 ft/min.

(As you descent lower your speed gradually as you don’t wanna be nosediving)

I’d just like to add that even if you have planned your descent correctly you still may be put in a holding pattern by approach due to the traffic level in the airspace, we do appreciate and love when we are contacted at the correct altitude and distance though. :)


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