Hold Entry for IR
I am mid way into my IR training and i cannot get the my hold entries correct ! I am able to explain the hold entry to my CFI on the ground , but when i flying into the hold i get lost and it is really frustrating. I have seen several youtube videos and videos from the Kings IR course too. 

Save me :(
6 Replies
Can you explain in more detail what's going wrong?
The protected airspace is so large that just about any kind of entry will keep you within it....but I know that you are concerned about a checkride.

1. Fly to the fix.
2. Turn to the outbound course (If the clearance is "hold southwest...." just turn to a southwest heading.  The exact heading should be part of the clearance: "....one the 240 radial" means that your heading should be near 240 BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TRACK IT OUTBOUND. What is the wind doing? Will i t drift you toward or away from the holding course? Apply an appropriate wind correction to offset the drift.
3.  Fly at least one minute, depending on the wind...keep in mind that you have ten miles in which to get turned around in most cases.
4.  Turn toward the holding airspace: If left turns are specified, turn right; if right turns, turn left. Fly back to the fix. Begin the racetrack.
As a DPE back in the day I was happy if the applicant stayed within the holding airspace and did not obsess about entries,,,but that was before the ACS.  There is a lot of wiggle room in the ACS depending on the examiner.
The designers of holding airspace use templates...the smallest template is at 2000' agl and they get larger with increasing altitude. Using the smallest template, the holding airspace extends 4.0nm on the holding side and 2.6nm on the non-holding side, measured perpendicular to the holding course. So, worse case scenario, with winds at 2000' agl absolutely blasting, you could miss the holding fix by a mile and still be in protected airspace (you would flunk your checkride, of course, but you would be safe). I want to emphasize that on the non-holding, "unprotected"  (parallel entry) side of the hold there is 2.6 nm of airspace in which you can be sure of not hitting anything or anyone.

Again, reflecting on my experience as an examiner, it would be to your advantage to explain your actions to the examiner as you carry them out...sometimes an action that appears to be "wrong" according to the book makes perfect sense when the reasoning behind it is verbalized.
I just completed my IR so here is my perspective. The only idea that helped me with entries (whilst in the air and getting a quick instruction from ATC)... I used the method by Jason Schappert (flight school academy free videos on utube). 
Basically fly to the fix and imagine drawing the pattern on the directional gyro (DG).  (See first picture DG)

eg if you are flying 114 heading to a fix. Imagine the fix being the center of the DG.
Listen to the instructions and if they say hold south on the 180 radial standard then mentally draw the 180 radial on the DG, this is your inbound leg (See Drawing DG1). Then draw the full oval including the outbound leg (depending on LT or RT pattern) (see drawing DG2). Now you can just imagine entering that hold and you can clearly see its going to be best as a tear drop. But you are visually also close to direct entry if you want that (I would say it looks easier with a tear drop). Also note ATC doesnt care about your entry pattern as long as you stay on the protected side. You can explain to the DPE that its close enough to be either. 
thank you so much Robert! great advise i will definitely try your recommendation :)
thank you habib!