Everyone hates parallel entries. Almost every pilot will try to turn a parallel entry into a teardrop entry, just because they think the parallel is too difficult.
It’s really not that hard, there are only 3 steps to fly a proper parallel entry:
- Track to the holding fix in the parallel entry region.
- Turn to parallel the inbound holding course
- Make a standard-rate turn to intercept the holding course
Let’s break down the steps.
First, we must be tracking straight to the holding fix and be in the parallel entry region. Attempting a parallel entry when not in the parallel entry region will not work out well. Parallel entries are unique, and can only be properly flown from the parallel entry region.
Once you cross the holding fix, immediately turn to a heading that parallels your inbound holding course. If the inbound holding course is 360, turn to 180. As with all entries, you will need to correct for wind to make sure you are paralleling the inbound course.
After we fly out outbound heading for one minute or the predetermined distance if at a hold based on distance, we are going to start a standard rate turn back towards the inbound holding course.
Now here’s the difference to a parallel hold. When you turn back to inbound course you have two options:
- Intercept and track the inbound course
- Home to the holding fix
Even though intercepting and tracking the inbound course is preferred, it is perfectly acceptable to home to the holding fix instead. This decision will be based on how far from your holding course you wind up when making your turn inbound.
If you end up homing to the holding fix, just treat it as a direct entry into the hold. Make sure that about 1/2 to 1/4 mile before the holding fix you turn to a heading that is the same as the holding course. Although you may not cross directly over the fix, this will prevent you from making a standard rate turn over 180 degrees to the outbound leg.
While all of this may sound a little confusing, there’s really no math to do. Try flying a few parallel entries next time you are practicing, and you may find they aren’t as bad as you thought.
Now you’re ready for teardrop and direct entries.