Entering a hold requires a pilot to perform three steps:
To remain within a holding pattern's airspace, a pilot must slow an aircraft below a pre-determined indicated airspeed or maximum holding airspeed (MHA).
Maximum holding airspeeds are determined by the altitude the aircraft will be flying at and change if an aircraft descends or climbs during the hold.
Speed reductions should begin when the aircraft is 3 minutes or less from the holding fix, with the holding fix crossed at or below the maximum holding airspeed.
Exceptions or changes to maximum holding airspeeds can include:
The FAA recommends three types of holding entries to remain within a holds protected airspace.
The inbound holding course defines these areas, and a zone divider rotates 70 degrees from the inbound holding course. Each zone determines the best type of holding entry to perform.
A parallel entry should be performed when the pilot is approaching a holding fix from zone A.
This entry is completed in 4 steps:
Teardrop entries should be performed when the pilot is approaching the holding fix from zone B.
This type of entry is also completed in 4 steps:
A direct entry is the easiest type of entry to perform and should be performed when a pilot approaches a holding fix from zone c.
This entry only involves two steps:
If a pilot finds themselves within 5 degrees of two different entry zones, they may choose either entry to enter the hold.