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Chris Catalano

Holding patterns from a DME fix. How do you do this?

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I am just finishing the reading the Radar Contact Manual. I fly the PMDG 737 series. I read the section in the manual about holding patterns. I am really comfortable in setting up a holding pattern in my FMC as long as it is based on a fix. I know how to do that. But in the RC manual on page 54, it says I may be asked to perform a hold at a preset DISTANCE from a fix (it says "cleared to the Memphis zero-five-five radial, four zero mile fix, hold northeast.") I know how to do a hold once I get to KMEM, but how do I program the FMC to perform the hold at 40 DME from KMEM? The FMC only seems to allow me to select the FIX (KMEM) the radial (055), the length of the pattern (20 miles for example) and right (or left) turns. How do I specify the 40 mile offset that this hold is supposed to take place at? Am I supposed to just eye it on my FMC, and when I get to the 40 DME, initiate the hold? Any ideas? Thanks.Chris Catalano

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I saw your question on the PMDG forum abnd the replies. The only discrepancy I note is that the suggestion was to use as the anchor waypoint KMEM when as you note above RC stated Memphis. You will note that a radial was given. In this case there is a VOR called MEM called Memphis and is what RC meant as your reference. You could then create in the place/bearing/dme format a "soft" fix in the FMC 40 DME out on the 055 radial of MEM. On the LEGS a waypoint MEM01 page as I recall you can select that soft fix and use that to enter a holdpoint specifying inbound direction and leg length and turn direction. That's the methodology but I do not recall the exact steps.There is the feature of NOTAMS in RC to keep the controllers cool to a little more deviation but that does not apply to waypoint accreditation.I hope this clears up that communication and an idea of how to work the challenging FMC :) .

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