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STARS

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I am trying to learn how to correctly use STARS when landing at large airports. I have been flying commuter (Dash-8). I see sometimes a STAR isnt even set up from the direction I am traveling from. Often a partucular STAR from my direction of travel is for turbojets only. Is it normal then that ATC would vector a landing or would the aircraft fly around to join that STAR and land. I couldnt imagine an airline would like the extra fuel used for that extra time in the air. Can anyone shed some light on this confusing subject for me. Oh remember this is for props.Thanks in advanceAndrew

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Well I can give you my one brief real-world encounter with a STAR... I flew from Elizabeth City, NC, to Dulles Int'l in D.C., and the IFR clearance I got from ATC included a STAR into Dulles (I can't remember which one). I was flying a C-172SP on this flight, and what ended up happening was as we got nearer to Dulles, our route got more and more direct... the center controllers kept knocking off waypoints so we ended up flying a much straighter route to IAD. Then eventually they just vectored us direct onto the approach path, bypassing the STAR altogether.I think STARs are mostly used by faster planes... regional commuter prop jobs, light jets, and heavies. I dunno, if I ever fly into another Class B airport, I'll post if I end up flying a real honest to goodness STAR into it. :)

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Heres my take from a non ilot prespective...STAR's are like off ramps for airways. The amount of volume that bigger airports have need this feature. Bringing a plane down from flight levels while over other airports and cities need some sort of predetermend route(s). Flying a STAR (I'm guessing) would be included in your original flight plan that is filled when you request your IFR clearance. I don't believe (not a pilot) ATC is going to have change the STAR on you once your inbound to land with another STAR. Then might remove fixes and have you fly more direct if traffic is light but another good purpose of the STAR is to reduce ATC chatter since the STAR also has sometimes speed and alt that you can expect to be at during the STAR. Lastly about your prop thing and coming from other directions most airports that need a STAR have one for a few directions inbound to the field so you might not be getting all the STARS or looking at the wrong one for your plane. Since most STARs deal with a/c coming down from Flight Levels I dont think you would expect to see a small prop plane flying a STAR. Find a STAR for Boston or Los Angeles and then go to these sites and see if you can figure out which STAR is being used realizing that your only going to get that last bit of the STAR before the planes are being vectored for landinghttp://www4.passur.com/bos.htmlhttp://www4.passur.com/lax.htmlmake sure to zoom far out.Kilstorm

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Lower level flights might join a STAR at a fix closer to the destination where those fixes have more appropriate crossing altitudes.The altitude of a regularly scheduled flight, whether prop or jet, might be such in order to maintain flight performance efficiency to include some points of a STAR.

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Thank you evryone for your replies. I guess it makes sense about the performance of the aircraft and also some directional approaches to major airports will have more traffic than others.Andrew

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