Here’s a new and different instruction from ATC. I’m posting my experience to see whether anyone has had something similar happen to them.
This morning I was flying our SR20 under the hood with Gordon Feingold gamely holding on in the right seat. After taking off from Santa Maria, CA (KSMX), we contacted Los Angeles Center (ZLA) and requested a clearance for the RNAV (GPS) Rwy 12 approach at KSMX. We were told “Maintain 4000’, cleared for the approach, report established on the final approach course inbound.” We proceeded direct to the IAF at OVMAF, then began to descend to 3300’ on the 5.0-nm leg from OVMAF to WINCH (where the final approach course begins). Partway to WINCH, the ZLA controller told us “There’s another aircraft inbound to the airport. Maintain 4000’ and hold at your present position, right turns.”
We did just that for a turn or two. We weren’t at any published fix, so the holding pattern was something of an improvisation. Shortly the ZLA controller again cleared us for the approach, but with a restriction to maintain 4000’ until WINCH (rather than the 3300’ specified on the approach plate).
My question is this: Have any of you ever been given the clearance “hold at your present position” that we received today? Any thoughts would be welcome.