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An exploratory approach that investigated the differences between conceptually and procedurally trained participants in situation awareness (SA) and performance of instrument holds was conducted. The step-by-step actions required to fly instrument holds were emphasized in the procedural training group. The interrelationship of elements in a dynamic environment was emphasized in the conceptual group. Participants were tested in two simulated instrument holding pattern scenarios. The second holding pattern was designed to be more complex. A trend was found where the conceptual group showed less altitude deviation (M = 399.22) than the procedural group (M = 599.74). Participants were asked six SA questions in each task. In the first task, the conceptual group answered an average of 3.30 questions correctly, whereas the procedural group answered 2.75 questions correctly. In the more difficult task, the spread increased with the conceptual group answering an average of 3.20 questions correctly, whereas the procedural group answered only 2.25 questions correctly.