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Descending in holding pattern

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I was wondering if its possible to descend in holding pattern with radar contact.

This would be useful in areas near heathrow when you want to make an approach.


Heathrow in real world has four major holding points that allow aircrafts to descend make their final approach in more timely fashion.

I as wondering if this can be mimicked in real world.

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Do you need vectors from the holding point?


You can get flexibility by using NOTAMS on the RC controller page. In RC you must specify a VOR in the plan within a certain distance range . . . don't recall . . . if you want RC to issue a hold.


I am looking at the BIGGIN 3D STAR from:


I put the STAR into an FSBuild plan to get distances.


Holding point at the BIG VOR is problematic with RC being at 20 nm out because you need vectors from BIG. If you declare in RC an IAP which lets you navigate on your own following lets say a guided FMC procedure RC will not give you further vectors after about 35 NM. If you use a normal vector approach in RC it will break you out prior to BIG. If you came in on BIG 3C or 3B TIGER is at 40 nm out (and near the crossing restriction by the way) but still under the effect of NOTAMS so on your own you can deviate controlling your own holding pattern.


If you are using an IAP (not taking vectors from approach starting at about 35 nm out) then you can fly a published procedure and do a descending hold at your own discretion. This is actually used at destinations where because of terrain you need to descend in place to the altitude at the final approach fix as shown on the IAP plate. This I have done.


Back to EGLL. You can't control the release time from a hold, either, unless you declare low fuel.


If you declare you want a hold in RC you will get one but maybe not that close.


In summary if you have NOTAMS declared on the destination controller page  and the holding point is in your plan further than 40 nm out, then on your own you can do the descent at the chosen point and break out when at the proper altitude without RC management and continue in.


If you declare you want holding in the enroute phase RC will pick where and for how many loops.


Sorry I can't think of any better news. Maybe someone else can chime in.

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