Author Topic: Holding Clearance Void An Approach Clearance?  (Read 9755 times)

Offline NWADC9

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Holding Clearance Void An Approach Clearance?
« on: May 22, 2011, 10:40:43 PM »
I was out practicing approaches for currency with a safety pilot last month, and was going to shoot two approaches: an ILS with vectors and a VOR approach with several laps about the published hold. After being cleared for the VOR approach, I asked the approach controller if it was alright if I did a few laps around the hold (more like reminded; stated intentions well beforehand), and was cleared to do so, and to announce procedure turn inbound. After a few laps, I called out "Procedure turn inbound." I was expecting to hear the approach clearance again, but only got a "roger." Since I didn't hear the clearance before crossing the VOR/IAF, I went around for another circuit, only to hear ATC go on about me and wondering what the heck I was doing. I explained the plight, and he said that I was cleared for the approach already (15 minutes ago), then recleared me and I was on my way to impress my right seat warmer/plane spotter with a greaser.

So who was right? Me, assuming the holding clearance voided the approach clearance, continuing the hold when an approach clearance wasn't issued, or the approach controller, that an approach clearance isn't voided with a holding clearance regardless of how long it has been.

Offline byoungblood

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Re: Holding Clearance Void An Approach Clearance?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2011, 10:56:21 PM »
Were you actually given specific holding instructions, or were you allowed to practice the hold on your own?

We get pilots asking to do exactly this all the time, except they typically ask to do the holding before being cleared for the next approach, usually as part of the published holding from the previous approach.

Now, to answer your question, unless your clearance limit was modified (hence my question above) if you were cleared to fly the approach, a pilot can really do whatever they want when it comes to a course reversal, provided they stay within the 10nm (or whatever the procedure specifies) protected airspace. I think it was a good idea to notify the controller that you were going to do a couple of extra laps, just so he/she knows what is going on. I'm sure the procedure turn inbound call was just to let him/her know that you're finally proceeding with the approach and done with the holding. So in short, unless you were given a holding clearance (which would have modified your clearance limit) then the approach clearance would not have been voided by you doing a couple of laps in the published holding.

Offline sykocus

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Re: Holding Clearance Void An Approach Clearance?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 02:49:45 AM »
If the holding you were doing was published for the approach you were shooting you then essentially you flying the approach even while doing your laps in holding. It was good to inform the controller what you were doing, since it seems he forgot about your original intentions and it's not the normal procedure, but it did not require a new approach clearance.

Offline Jason

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Re: Holding Clearance Void An Approach Clearance?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2011, 08:45:12 AM »
I am not sure which approach you were specifically flying and where you were holding though I am assuming that you were completing a published hold in lieu of a procedure turn on the approach.

See AIM 5-4-9(a)(5):
If cleared for the approach prior to returning to the holding fix, and the aircraft is at the prescribed altitude, additional circuits of the holding pattern are not necessary nor expected by ATC. If pilots elect to make additional circuits to lose excessive altitude or to become better established on course, it is their responsibility to so advise ATC upon receipt of their approach clearance.

If you request additional circuits in the hold and ATC approves your request and clears you for the approach, then the approach clearance is still valid while holding at and after leaving the holding fix (unless the approach clearance is specifically cancelled for some reason).