Instrument Written - "Holding" Question

So I have been studying for my Instrument Written test and I have a question regarding the holding entry procedures. I understand how they work (Direct vs. Parallel vs. Teardrop) and I am able to figure out most of the holding questions without the Memory Aid. Going through Sheppard there are several questions where you are entering the hold right on the radial (bearing) between Parallel and Teardrop; in those cases, sometimes Parallel is scored as correct, and sometimes Teardrop. Is there any way to figure out the correct answer without actually memorizing the questions and answers, like Sheppard wants you to do? Or maybe I am missing something? Thanks in advance!

Sam

Sam,

Without seeing the questions, it is hard to tell. I will tell you that the vast majority of pilots would defer to the parallel entry as it is by far the easier of the two to fly and keeps the airplane on the holding radial longer.

Chris

1 Like

Sam, there’s the answer to your question. Yes there is a way to figure it out but that’s not where you are in the program. When it comes time for you to actually fly a hold it’s important to understand the how’s and why’s. For now you need to trust the Sheppard system and get the written out if the way.

I’m sure that’s not what you want to hear but that’s what’s best.

Adam

1 Like

Thanks Chris and Adam. I thought you might say to just follow the Sheppard system which I am for the most part. It is just easier in some cases to understand the content so I don’t have to memorize what the correct answer is. That being said I think I will have to memorize for those questions because it seems that in the real world, if you are right on the radial between parallel and teardrop, you can select to do either one.

Thanks again.

Sam

Sam, remember for holdings the answer is based on the radial at which you will enter. As far as I’m away if it’s right on the line, it can be either or but if it’s even remotely to the side of the line, even by just a small margin, then it’s one or the other. Also I wouldn’t sweat holding too much. I only had one on my test

1 Like

Thanks Josh. Yeah, I think some of the questions have you entering right on the radial (the line between the two); in those cases I was confused what the FAA wants you to answer (assuming I don’t memorize the answers, which I will anyway). Not too worried about it, very small part of the exam material. I was trying to understand it for my own knowledge.

Sam,

As others have said in reality there is no wrong answer BUT as far as the written exam is concerned there is.

Adam

1 Like

I feel ya there. I have CX-3 flight computer I brought to mine… haha its kind of cheating though.

Samuil,

I was equally as confused, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason why it gets scored as one or the other when you are right on the line.

That being said, I just tried to memorize the answers in Sheppard as much as possible, although I didn’t catch every one of them (I got one of those wrong on the written.)

And I wouldn’t completely write those questions off, as I literally had every one of those questions from the bank on my actual Writtens.

1 Like

Thanks Michael.

How’s it going so far? You are starting your second week at ATP right?

You’re welcome!

Thanks for inquiring! You are correct, and so far, so good! I started right off my second day flying instrument approaches as well as practice sessions in the sim, which I’ve been doing for the last week, and this morning I flew my first holding pattern (which wasn’t too bad!), as well as my first circle to land approach.

Enjoying instrument training so far; it certainly seems like drinking from a fire hose at some times, but I am confident I will make it through. Trying to adjust to the South Florida weather, and all that comes along with it, including its challenges (daily afternoon thunderstorms, etc.)

One thing for certain, I am honestly surprised at the number of students at my location who did not complete all of their written exams beforehand; I am certainly glad I did, and highly recommended doing so, I cannot imagine trying to do so amongst all the Normal studying!

I plan on posting a more formal update in a couple weeks, but until then, good luck to you, and keep us updated on your journey!

Honestly it’s not that hard to study for your written as well as training. I only had a month before joining ATP originally so I only could do the PAR but as soon as I started my instrument training, I cranked out the FII and my IRA on the first week. Granted I did 3 days of 10 hours studying before I took it so I probably over did it haha :joy:

1 Like

Well, maybe not everybody is as quick of a study as you are. I had all of the writtens done before starting and was very glad that I did.

1 Like

Good to know; I just came back from a short trip to Florida, and yeah thunderstorms every day! Looking forward to the update and happy that things are going well.

Yeah, some people are pretty fast when studying for the exams. I definitely go slower, that’s just my learning style for better or for worse; it just takes me longer to process info, but I do try to understand each concept as opposed to just memorizing the answers. I have put around 30+ hours into studying for the instrument written and I still have one section to go before I start the review of all the questions.

Ya I feel that. I originally tried studying before for my instrument before I started but without much flying knowledge I was so confused :joy: