The present invention provides a set of holding pattern entry algorithms used to define flight segments for entry into holding patterns. These geometries preferably describe the specific location and distance of various segments used in the holding pattern and holding pattern racetrack, with each segment defined as a curved or straight segment between endpoints. The algorithms also preferably include criteria used to determine entry extension, maximum initial turn angle, and minimum distance between a hold fix and an entry turn point. The geometry also preferably extends entry distance to avoid excessive iterative calculations. The algorithms are preferably utilized by a flight management system and method that determines segment sequencing during entry into holding patterns and the holding patterns themselves. The flight management system and method monitors the aircraft's progress along the active segment of the flight plan to determine what is the appropriate next segment in the algorithm and when to switch control from the active segment to the next segment.