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There are three common types of segments in aviation: holding segment, flight segment, and route segment. The route segment is more commonly referred to when dealing with private flights. However, all three are applicable at any given time.

A segment is defined as a section of time, distance, or flight that is divided up between two locations or points.

Route Segment

A route segment is a portion of a route taken during private flights. It’s designated by two separate points and bounded on each end by a navigational aid (NAVAID) or fix. Oftentimes, the route segment will be outlined in the flight plan.

Holding Segment

A holding segment has four different phases of holding. The first segment refers to outbound movement of a plane flying away from the fix. The second portion is referred to as the inboard turn segment. This is used to define the switch from the plane’s outbound course to inbound. Third, the inbound course segment refers to the period of time when the plane is flying towards the fix. And the final segment is the outbound turn segment. And this is used to describe the point where the plane turns toward the outbound course and the fix.

Flight Segment

The flight segment refers to any specific portion of a flight. Some common segments include:

  • Approach segment
  • Descent segment
  • Climb segment
  • Departure segment
  • Cruise segment

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