Help!

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350DRIVER

I would like to direct this question to the CFII's of this message board- I have been instructing on the side in a privately owned aircraft and I have been experiencing a "minor" problem-
as follows> The student I am working with is pretty much ready for his Instrument check ride and I am "almost" ready to sign him off BUT he is very sloppy on his holding patterns as well the the "basic" understanding of the different types of entry as well as knowing which entry to use and to put the icing on the cake he isn't taking into account the winds at the given time..

Any advice on how you guys instruct the student pertaining to holding patterns and the philosophy behind them.????

I have tried just about everything with him and have spent alot of time (in air as well as on the ground) with him however he is not grasping the concept at all...

THX

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alimaui

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from a student of a CFII

Something that helped me, I was also having a difficult time grasping the concept


My instructor gave me a sheet with about 12 compass roses on it. (this can be done on notebook paper with a circle) He told me just to randomly give myself the assignments. I would alwasy say them outloud and then draw them with the entry. It sounds pathetic, but after about fifty of these, I was alot better at visualizing the pattern itself...and this will put the pressure on him to learn them and take a little of it off of you.

He also taught me the Thumb thing, once I figured what he was talking about I was really good at them, lol

Ali
 

eriknorth

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Hey ali,
explain the thumb thing a little more...
 

Timebuilder

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The thumb thing.

You want a pattern entry for a pattern with LEFT turns. Hold up your LEFT thumb on the LEFT side of the HI. Now visualize a line beginning just above your thumb, and crossing the center of the HI, and going straight to the other side. This line begins at a point which is 70 degrees to the left from the 12 o clock position of the HI, which is your heading to the fix...you have already turned to the fix, haven't you? The pie shaped piece between your thumb and the top of the HI represents the "teardrop", the portion on the right side of the uper part represents the "parallel" entry, and the large 180 segment at the bottom represents the "direct" entry. Now, find the place on the HI that represents your outbound course heading while you are in the hold. The place where you find that number on the HI, that is to say in which "segment", represents what type of entry you will make to enter the hold. This becomes even more clear if you visualize the holding pattern itself on the HI.

The line slope is opposite for the right turn pattern, using the right thumb as your reminder of how to visualize the pattern entry.
 

Timebuilder

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One more note:

If you use an enroute chart for your examples, it is easy to draw the pattern on the chart using whatever fix is specified for the hold, be it a VOR, intersection, DME distance along an airway, whatever.
 

bobbysamd

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Holding patterns

You need to be sure that your student understands holding clearances. Maybe that's the root of the problem.

For one thing, your inbound course is always to the fix. Students tend to misunderstand that if ATC clears them, e.g., to "hold North of BONEHEAD on the 360 radial" means that the inbound course to BONEHEAD would be 180 magnetic. An idea to try is to make that point clear and have the student draw the actual holding pattern on the chart while going through each component of the clearance. A common error is students are confused about which way to turn in a standard racetrack. They seem to think that a standard holding pattern has left turns, probably because a standard traffic pattern has left turns. So, before you go on to teach them standard entries, be sure your students are clear about inbound courses and the correct direction. Theoretically, ATC is supposed to state if the pattern it's clearing you should have left turns; otherwise, you assume that the racetrack is to the right.

One other, vital point about holding clearances: Make sure you get an EFC time from ATC in case you lose comm. A very common error in training is students won't demand an EFC time if "ATC" (meaning the CFI-I) doesn't provide one in his "clearance."

Once your student is clear about his holding clearance, then you can help him with entries. Despite what others may say or believe, your student needs to enter holding per the AIM. The AIM is the FAA's preferred way of doing business. Although the real world may be different, most examiners will expect students to enter holding per the AIM.

I learned a great way to visualize holding when I was a Riddle instructor. You spread out your thumb, forefinger and middle finger of your hand and place your hand on the HI, with your forefinger on the lubber line. Right hand for a standard pattern; left hand for a non-standard pattern. The area between your middle and forefinger is for teardrop entries, between thumb and forefinger is for parallel, and everything below is for direct. The line from the bottoms of your thumb, forefinger and middle finger is the 70-degree line. So, if you understand your holding clearance and place your hand as I just described on the HI, you'll see your FAA-mandated holding entry. Now, if you have an HSI, it's a bit easier. Set the head of the arrow on the HSI 70 degrees down from your inbound course. Don't forget, if your within five degrees, I believe, on the borderline between one kind of entry and another, you can use either one. Of course, the idea is to enter holding within protected airspace.

Try working it out on paper with your student before trying it.

Wind correction on the inbound course is just like wind correction for tracking. Whatever keeps the CDI centered. Fine corrections as you approach the VOR. Outbound, try doubling your correction. You may have to go around the hold a couple of times to nail it. Unless you know you will have a really strong tailwind on the outbound, go out a minute, as the AIM recommends, and see how long it takes for the inbound. Increase or decrease the time on the outbound as necessary until you have a perfect (more or less) one minute inbound leg. Of course, if you have to depart holding at the EFC time, you adjust the outbound as necessary to hit the fix inbound at the EFC.

I'd say the basic philosophy of holding boils down to understanding that a hold is based on a basic four-minute racetrack with a one-minute inbound (I realize a 1½-minute inbound applies above a certain altitude or FL, but I don't recall it at the moment), understanding the elements of a holding clearance, and being crystal-clear on what comprises the inbound course. Once again, your student should never forget to ask for an EFC time if "ATC" doesn't give one.

Try simple examples and make them more complex as your student starts to "get it." I'd go back into the sim to hone his skills before returning to the airplane.

Hope that helps. Good luck with finishing your student.
 
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skydiverdriver

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IF your student doesn't understand the wind, how did he fly a pattern for his private certificate? I always try to relate the current lesson to something the student allready understands. Get him to explain the wind effects on his heading and ground track on a rectangular traffic pattern, and then have him show you the same thing on an oval. The only difference is that you make corrections based on inbound time and direction, and the outbound leg compensates for it, instead of worrying about ground track. Hope this helps.
 
3

350DRIVER

Well folks thanks alot for the feedback as well as the advice- I fly with him again tomm and we'll see if any progress has been made. Let me address the question that was posed in regards to the wind and his private pilot training as well as checkride, he appears to understand the concepts on "certain" days however when I start covering the instruments up (partial panel) it appears to me that his brain "freezes" up and he is not thinking logically nor putting his former concepts to work....His CFI who signed him off for his PVT has a different and more laid back approach that has plagued him during his INST training and I had to break numerous "bad habits"- wasn't a prodigy by any means...

I shall keep all posted- I am 100% confident that I will get him to where he needs to be in order to master the holding patterns but it is just taking him more time than I would have wanted..

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snoopy

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I had one more thing to add. When I learned, I never really liked the thumb thing. I use a different way. If your student has the chart when flying to the fix, they can draw the hold on it or visualize it on the chart. (I usually just traced it with my finger). Then if you go through and visualize each entry, by using your finger, you can see which entry will produce the least amount of turning and will be the easiest to use.

This concept is what the AIM is putting down into very precise language. The recommended entry will always be the one that requires the aircraft to manuever the least.


--- Snoopy
 

Snakum

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When I first started training for the IR I read all the techniques (thumb, overlay, etc.) but after a couple hours on 'em I began to look at the intersection, read back the clearance, and it just becames obvious which entry to use. The only time I screw it up is when my inbound heading is right at the edge of the boundary of the different entries. Then I have to think a little bit. But usually ... just look at it and visualize per the readback.

I wonder if there is someway to teach an IR student to become intuitive with entries? To just look at it, read back the clearance and instantly visualize the hold? I'm definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer and I figured if I caught on ... anyone could. :D

What do you pros do in the rare event you're given a hold? I guess at your level of experience you instantly recognize the entry?

Minh Thong
("You know what an Idiot Savant is? Well, I'm half of that.")
 

eriknorth

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Well, I'm in the dark here, but based on what Snakum was saying about getting it during the readback, I wonder (from a student's point of view) if it wouldn't help to practice radio calls for it. My friend had the idea to shoot radio calls back and forth on the ground. He is pretty experienced, so he would come up with some calls and have me respond as if I was in the plane and he was ATC. Kinda like playing house I guess (Dorky Pilot Series material). But maybe if he was forced to visualize it by calling it back it would help. I really have no idea about any of this, though. Not yet at least:cool:
 

Tim47SIP

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Well, when I used to teach, I would have the student use the DG. Since I am terrible with numbers (you know, that 70/110 thing), I like to make things easy. If you are told to hold north on the 360 radial or bearing from (NDB), I would have the guy put his finger on the 360 mark on the outside of the HSI or DG and move his finger into the center of the instrument. This is the inbound course of 180. Then he would make a right or left racetrack pattern based on the clearance. He now can visualise the hold right on the instrument. All he has to do now is determin the entry based on wheter he arrives in or out if the racetrack. Outside, normaly parrallel, inside, teardrop or direct. I usually tell them just to make the easiest turn and 99.9% of the time it is the correct entry. Very easy meathod and no drawing. After they learn this meathod, they can easily figure out the hold in just a few seconds and instantly see their inbound and out bound headings.
Just another meathod to try. Hope that helps.;)
 
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alimaui

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Snakum said:
When I first started training for the IR I read all the techniques (thumb, overlay, etc.) but after a couple hours on 'em I began to look at the intersection, read back the clearance, and it just becames obvious which entry to use. The only time I screw it up is when my inbound heading is right at the edge of the boundary of the different entries. Then I have to think a little bit. But usually ... just look at it and visualize per the readback.

I wonder if there is someway to teach an IR student to become intuitive with entries? To just look at it, read back the clearance and instantly visualize the hold? I'm definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer and I figured if I caught on ... anyone could. :D

What do you pros do in the rare event you're given a hold? I guess at your level of experience you instantly recognize the entry?

Minh Thong
("You know what an Idiot Savant is? Well, I'm half of that.")
Obviously, being able to listen to the clearance and intuitively know how to enter is the ultimate goal, but some have a harder time picking it up than others, especially while still learning....

Ali
 

xhercdriver

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I used to teach two methods: "wind arrow" and "Mercedes Benz" :D

Wind arrow: draw the holding pattern as the instructions are read...

"Cessna 3WB, hold southeast..."

(Draw a 'wind arrow' coming up/right from the SE, i.e. if someone told you the wind was 360 @ 10, you'd draw an arrow pointing down)

"...of the LIT Vortac..."

(Draw a circle at the point of the arrow, i.e. the fix)

"...135 radial..."

(Write 135 on the tail of the wind arrow)

"...right hand turns..."

(Draw a racetrack starting with a right turn from the arrowhead)

"...5-mile legs."

(Put a 5 near the tail of the arrow)

You should then be able to figure out the direction of initial entry just by visualizing your heading to the fix. But if not...

Mercedes Benz: visualize a Mercedes-Benz hood ornament (that 3-bladed prop thingie) over your heading indicator. The top prong goes through your current heading, and the side prongs point to 70 degrees from either side of the BOTTOM of the instrument (or 20 degrees below the 90-degree indices, if you like). Then set your heading marker (if equipped) on, or visualize (if not) the outbound holding heading (probably the same as the radial). If the outbound heading is in the left third of the hood ornament, turn left. If it's in the right third, turn right. If it's in the lower third, turn in the direction of holding. If it's "close" to the top prong, it's probably a teardrop.
 

avbug

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I have never taught, and don't use, 70 degree this or that to get into a hold. I turn the shortest way to the outbound heading, and start time. One there I have at least a minute to figure out where I want to go. It's only a matter of deciding which way to turn back to the inbound course. No math or calculation is required.

Moreover, I don't attempt to figure out what kind of entry to use, and don't teach a student to do that either. Whatever looks right for the entry is what gets used. Calculations over.

Mental gymnastics only complicate things in the cockpit. It's rather like flying an NDB approach. One can figure relative bearing and account for wind correction and all other manner of voodoo. However, when all is said and done, one turns toward the pointy end of the needle, and stays pretty much there. If the pointy end moves, you move a little more, and then back some. Problem solved, and it always works. Far less distraction, especially for someone shooting a single pilot approach.

Keep it simple.
 

alimaui

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avbug said:
I

Moreover, I don't attempt to figure out what kind of entry to use, and don't teach a student to do that either. Whatever looks right for the entry is what gets used. Calculations over.



Keep it simple.
Check Pilot:Thank you Miss F. You may turn aruond, get the atis and go back to Melbourne.

Me: Huh??

Check Pilot: Yes, we generally use standard teardrop entry for that type of pattern.

Me: Well, that looked right....and avbug said....

Check Pilot: Well although avbug said....Wait! Who is avbug?? AND anywya, yes it did look right, but here at the FAA we want you to jump through hoops. You must do everything by the book, in the most difficult and complicated manner. In the future you must use either parallel, direct or teardrop entry. Perhaps then you will be permitted to finsih your checkride.

Ali


Exaggeration...but you get the point :)
 

bobbysamd

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It's not that exaggerated

The real world is different. Avbug knows the real world well. I had my ATP examiner show me and made me execute a teardrop entry to holding that he cooked up after I opted, correctly, for parallel. I knew of an instructor who came up with a teardrop type of procedure turn instead of the FAA standard procedure turn to 45 degrees, go out one minute, reverse and intercept the inbound, etc.

Look at your Instrument PTS. It quotes as references the AIM and Instrument Flying Handbook. Also, IAPs. FAA pubs are the FAA's last word on the procedures should be followed. Although the examiner might think it should be done differently, or you think it should be done differently, or your instructor thinks it should be done differently, the examiner has to pass you if you did it by the book and to standards.

So many people get in pi$$ing contests over how they do things as opposed to the "book." The book is always right, if not the best or easiest way. Just do it by the book and get your rating.
 
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Ned

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holding

Two suggestions...

1) Have your student do some holds not under the hood on a vfr day when you can see the VOR. It makes a lot more sense to students when they can see outside, see the VOR, and see how everything looks. It will probably solve his trouble with situational awareness.

2) It really doesn't matter what kind of entry you do. The FAA has recommended procedures. Not required, just explain what the protected side of the hold is, and why you should stay there.
 
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