Racetrack (Hold-in-lieu of Procedure Turn)

September, 3, 2020 by

A holding pattern in lieu of a procedure turn will often be specified for course reversal in some procedures. The holding pattern is established over an intermediate fix or a final approach fix (FAF). The pattern distance or time specified in the profile view must be observed. Maximum holding airspeed limitations as set forth for all holding patterns apply. The holding pattern maneuver is completed when the aircraft is established on the inbound course after executing the appropriate entry.

If cleared for the approach prior to returning to the holding fix, and the aircraft is at the proper altitude, additional circuits are not necessary nor expected. If the pilot wishes to fly additional circuits to lose excess altitude or to become better established, they must advise ATC upon receiving their approach clearance. When holding in lieu of a procedure turn, the holding pattern must be followed. The only exceptions are when radar vectoring to the final approach course is provided or when “NoPT” is shown on the approach course. Here you can see a picture of a racetrack pattern.

  1. Time 3 minutes straight-and-level flight from A to B. During this interval, airspeed must be reduced to the appropriate holding speed.
  2. Start a 180° standard rate turn to the right at B, rolling out at C on the reciprocal of the heading originally used at A.
  3. Time a 1 minute straight-and-level flight from C to D.
  4. Start a 180° standard rate turn to the right at D, rolling out on the original heading at E.

Here is an example from an approach plate – give it a try!

References: Flight Literacy, altairva, code7700

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.