How To Find Holding Pattern Entry and Bugout Time – Theres an App For That

Holding Pattern iPhone App

I’ve written about how to find your holding pattern entry and we’ve talked about bugout times before. But sometimes a pilot is so task-saturated flying the airplane that even the easiest tasks are too much to handle. Thankfully holding patterns won’t vex you anymore because there’s an app for that! I’m very pleased to announce the release of my first iPhone App – Hold Here.

Finding the right holding pattern entry with Hold Here

Hold Here computes holding pattern entries with ease. With an interface inspired by the E6-B like calculators available in Sportys, Hold Here’s pattern entry calculator is familiar to pilots. You simply use two fingers to rotate the holding pattern to the desired inbound / outbound radial. Next, tap the heading button and rotate the airplane to your heading.

The app displays the FAA recommended holding pattern entry by name at the top and clearly depicts the entry as a bold red line.

Hold Here really shines with the bugout time calculator. I kept things very simple to make it quick and easy to use in the cockpit. Just enter some basic information about your flight plan – speed, distances and fuel – and the the app displays how long you can hold in minutes.

Finding Bugout Time on iPhone with Hold Here

The easiest way to find out how long you can hold

I made sure that this app will work for a variety of airplanes – from light singles all the way up to heavy airliners. If you fly an old Piper or Cessna and track your fuel in terms of hours and minutes, just punch those numbers in. And if you are in a more complex airplane with accurate fuel and fuel flow readings, you can enter those numbers in units of gallons or pounds.

What determines bugout time? For safety, I’m defining bugout time as the moment where you have just enough fuel to fly from the holding fix to the destination, then proceed to the alternate airport with your 45 minute IFR fuel reserve untouched. I do not account for any time spent shooting approaches, so it’s important to keep that in mind and apply a little fudge-factor depending on your airplane and experience.


Go download Hold Here and leave a comment – tell me what you think.

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About the author
Pat Flannigan is a professional pilot and aviation blogger. He has been flying for fifteen years and is currently working as an airline pilot in the United States.

2 Replies to How To Find Holding Pattern Entry and Bugout Time – Theres an App For That

  1. Mark says:

    This is an awesome app guys! I am defiantely going to get this! When I fly my business jet I often have similiar difficulties! wicked app! for ipod only or blackberry?

  2. Martin says:

    I usually don’t make such a fuzz on the entry for the hold: Sector1 Sector 2 Sector 3etc. These are all recommended entries and not LAW. You can basically enter the hold they way you want, as long as its safe. The FAA nor the SACAA can fail you for that, as they are recommended entries only….

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