STAR Speed Restriction- CLT

troopernflight

Well-Known Member
There seems to be a lot of confusion on what needs to be done to comply with this speed restriction for STARs coming into CLT. Word is, ATC is violating pilots for keeping their speed up until reaching the first fix speed restriction, in this case, PHAYE at 270. Maybe someone can shed light on the red box, which says “descend via Mach number until intercepting 270”. If they want you to be at 270 once reaching the first arrival fix, then why put 270 at PHAYE when your already doing it? What exactly is expected here to comply with this?
 

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Beefy McGee

Well-Known Member
Not sure exactly how to answer this. I’ll throw out some thoughts and observations I see.

I do these arrivals very regularly. I haven’t heard of any violations on the CLT STARs for speed.

Some folks slow too soon though, and cause traffic behind them to bunch up. Some folks don’t slow until they cross the fix, which is also wrong.

When you get close to a speed reduction fix, start slowing so you cross the fix at the designated speed. Start slowing about a mile out per each ten knots you need to lose if level, maybe 1.5 miles per ten knots if you are descending. If you have a strong tailwind, modify those distances a bit longer.

So don’t slow from 270 to 250 ten miles from the fix, because it screws up traffic behind you. Do it 2-3 miles from the fix if you need to lose 20-30 knots.

Don’t wait until you hit a designated speed restriction fix and then slow, unless ATL or CLT specifically tells you yo do that. Which they sometimes do.

So a couple examples:

If ATC tells you “descend via the FILPZ3, except maintain 300 kts to FILPZ, then fly published speeds” then keep 300 to FILPZ and then slow to 250 once you hit FILPZ.

If ATC tells you “descend via the FILPZ4, except maintain 300 knots and published speeds at FILPZ”, then maintain 300 until about five miles from FILPZ, then start slowing so you cross FILPZ at 250, the published speed.

Here is something I suspect might get someone a violation: too fast or high at the 210 knots fixes late in the arrivals. People screw that up fairly often.

Example: If you are eastbound on the FILPZ, PARQR, or BANKR arrivals, be careful if you get a tailwind component above about 40-50 knots below 15,000 feet. Depending on your aircraft, you can run into trouble slowing down to 210 at CEDOX or CHELE (whichever is on your arrival) if you have too much tailwind out of the west. Pay attention and maybe think about starting down sooner, maybe before the FMS calculated top of descent (respecting the altitude gates) in the arrival so you can descend at a lower rate (V speed) and be able to slow. Getting yourself into the situation of following your computer V speed guidance, when a strong tailwind gets the computer into a high descent rate such that your aircraft can’t slow to 210 knots due to that descent rate, will result in you crossing on altitude but too fast, or on speed but too high. If you let the computer VNAV itself into a steep descent rate with a strong tailwind, and wait too long to notice or try to change that, you may run out of options as even idle / full spoilers / speed brakes / etc won’t help you if you are descending 3000 fpm in VNAV when your plane normally does about 1200 fpm at 210 knots at idle, clean, with no tailwind.

If you don’t notice it is happening and don’t at least let ATC know or ask them if they want the speed or the altitude, you might expect a phone number. But if you pay attention and notice the situation developing, you can at least ask ATC for help before it’s a problem, or even better, do something like descending earlier (which would make it easier to slow once you get closer to the fix) to eliminate / prevent the problem.

Incidentally, over the last few months it seems ATC aroud CLT knows the jets have trouble performing the OPD STARs with strong west tailwinds, and often they just give simple descents and vectors, and slow to X knots once you level off at Y altitude, rather than keep us on the arrival.

You have to know what your plane can do, what things you can do to correct it, and NOTICE when you need to do something to correct a VNAV mode that is having trouble with a tailwind.
 
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Beefy McGee

Well-Known Member
“descend via Mach number until intercepting 270“

@troopernflight

“Intercepting 270” in this case would mean the point in your descent where your Mach speed indication would equal 270 kts IAS if you swapped the modes in your plane. Not a reference to a geographical fix.

On the FILPZ for example, a typical arrival plane will probably be up high enough to be in Mach speed until it is at some spot on the FILPZ where lower aircraft, if doing the published speeds, are already doing 270 IAS. By the time you get below the altitude where your plane switches from MACH mode to IAS mode, that point on your flight plan will probably be on a 270 knot section of the FILPZ.

In my plane (maybe every plane, not sure), above 31,600, the plane will be in Mach speed mode. Once you get below 31,600, it will switch to IAS. So at FL320 it might be at M .78, then as soon as we descend through 31,600 it will switch to IAS and maybe M .78 suddenly reads as 280 knots IAS and now I need to slow to 270 IAS.

So on the FILPZ in this case, more than likely I will wind up in a place where as soon as the plane switches to IAS mode in the descent, and I see anything other than 270 knots, I need to speed up or slow to 270 as needed.
 
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troopernflight

Well-Known Member
Ok, that is along the lines of what I was thinking. Yes, our aircraft transition automatically at 31,600 as well. Though pretty much nobody I fly with slows down until reaching the first “hard” speed restriction at PHAYE. I’ve never had a controller say anything when slowing to 270 only upon reaching PHAYE. I’ve flown with a couple of people who said some controllers are cracking down on it. I guess safest course of action is to just get approval to keep speed up, and then not have to worry about it. Thanks.
 

Inverted25

Well-Known Member
Ok, that is along the lines of what I was thinking. Yes, our aircraft transition automatically at 31,600 as well. Though pretty much nobody I fly with slows down until reaching the first “hard” speed restriction at PHAYE. I’ve never had a controller say anything when slowing to 270 only upon reaching PHAYE. I’ve flown with a couple of people who said some controllers are cracking down on it. I guess safest course of action is to just get approval to keep speed up, and then not have to worry about it. Thanks.
We have the same speed restriction on the arrivals into CLE. The controllers do expect you to slow before the fix if your altitude is low enough that have transitioned to IAS. I haven’t heard of any violations yet but I have heard ATC ask people their speed and then scold them for not adhering to that speed restriction before hitting the first fix on the arrival.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Box hauler

Well-Known Member
Unless I’m missing something this seems pretty cut and dry. Let’s say you’re at FL370 and Mach .78. When you start descending via the arrival, as your indicated speed increases don’t let it exceed 270 regardless of your altitude or position in reference to the star. This same situation applies to many other airports like DEN, IAH and others.
 

Beefy McGee

Well-Known Member
Ok, that is along the lines of what I was thinking. Yes, our aircraft transition automatically at 31,600 as well. Though pretty much nobody I fly with slows down until reaching the first “hard” speed restriction at PHAYE. I’ve never had a controller say anything when slowing to 270 only upon reaching PHAYE. I’ve flown with a couple of people who said some controllers are cracking down on it. I guess safest course of action is to just get approval to keep speed up, and then not have to worry about it. Thanks.
Slowing to 270 at PHAYE is probably about where it should happen. Usually we climb out of TYS to accelerate to 270 at PHAYE coming up from below the arrival.
 

learhawkerbe400

Well-Known Member
Ok, that is along the lines of what I was thinking. Yes, our aircraft transition automatically at 31,600 as well. Though pretty much nobody I fly with slows down until reaching the first “hard” speed restriction at PHAYE. I’ve never had a controller say anything when slowing to 270 only upon reaching PHAYE. I’ve flown with a couple of people who said some controllers are cracking down on it. I guess safest course of action is to just get approval to keep speed up, and then not have to worry about it. Thanks.
This is simple. Maintain current Mach until it intercepts 270 in the descent. If the guys you’re flying with don’t understand that then they probably have a lot bigger problems lol.
 

Crop Duster

E pluribus unum
I suspect any violations here are for flying too slow, not too fast. As folks have pointed out, the arrival speeds are clearly stated. My guess is pilots are slowing below 270 before being told to by ATC. Just stay at 270 until the procedure or ATC or your altitude dictates a slower speed.

Didn't we just have this discussion in regard to TEB arrivals?
 

NJA_Capt

Well-Known Member
The real question is why an arrival is setup where jet aircraft have to slow to 270 @ FL240 100nm out? It seems in the last ~20 years, procedures have been WAY watered down. Finals have become ridiculously long at ridiculous slow speeds, even at 2am and the only plane in the sky. It appears that the system has been forced into a one-size-fits-all mentality. Whether it is a push in ATL or a single ship at 2am, everyone is doing 15+ finals at 170kts. :( Maybe it's the ex-freight dog in me, but 1/2 mile outside the marker is plenty of room to be stable. :D


While were at it ;)

Why are approach controllers vectoring aircraft to 15 mile, VMC finals after an aircraft called airport in site? Traffic aside, and the only plane in the pattern? Are controllers really having that much trouble with crews getting stabilized on the final segment (as I have heard from a few ATC guys)?
 

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
Why are approach controllers vectoring aircraft to 15 mile, VMC finals after an aircraft called airport in site?
I’ve pretty much stopped using visual approaches because you guys keep flying farther than you would have for an ILS. No one cuts in on a dogleg anymore, you just fly the base to a 90 degree intercept of the final approach course and wind up 6 miles behind your sequence instead of 3 and now my final is jacked up behind you.
 

NJA_Capt

Well-Known Member
That's pretty sad. I was afraid that would happen. I have watched CFIs all over the country the last few years flying patterns wider than a B52. Now their products are flying jets and screwing up the flow as well.

I have left the pattern a few times in SELs because guys were flying patterns so wide. Any competent pilot in a jet aircraft should have no trouble dog legging as you put it, or intercepting final ~3nm out. If they need a 15 mile straight in VFR pattern, they probably shouldn't be in the seat. I am all about safety and being stabile. But if it takes that much room thats pretty sad. Even IFR, someone show be able to intercept within a mile of the FAF in a stabilized fashion.

We are still trained to circle at mins within ~2.5 nm and still make a stabilized landing. Maybe it's the old freight dog in me, but 15 mile final....sheesh.
 

swakid8

Well-Known Member
The real question is why an arrival is setup where jet aircraft have to slow to 270 @ FL240 100nm out? It seems in the last ~20 years, procedures have been WAY watered down. Finals have become ridiculously long at ridiculous slow speeds, even at 2am and the only plane in the sky. It appears that the system has been forced into a one-size-fits-all mentality. Whether it is a push in ATL or a single ship at 2am, everyone is doing 15+ finals at 170kts. :( Maybe it's the ex-freight dog in me, but 1/2 mile outside the marker is plenty of room to be stable. :D


While were at it ;)

Why are approach controllers vectoring aircraft to 15 mile, VMC finals after an aircraft called airport in site? Traffic aside, and the only plane in the pattern? Are controllers really having that much trouble with crews getting stabilized on the final segment (as I have heard from a few ATC guys)?
I try to keep within 5 miles if I am cleared for the visual approach in the jet. When I was instructing at a small airport a few years ago. We had a rival school that would fly wide patterns in a 172. It irritated the crap out of me as an instructor because I was teaching my students to keep their patterns within gliding distance to the airport in the event they lose it....
 

NJA_Capt

Well-Known Member
Well. I think I solved the riddle. As luck would have it, I arrived at an unnamed hotel at the same time as the Southern Jets crew we followed into the same unnamed city. We noticed he didn't sound happy on the radio and was still expressing it at the hotel. His gripe? ATC cleared him for a visual 15+ mile out and did NOT vector him onto the ILS (That he has probably flow 100 times). He was already basically straight in. :ooh:

We probably could have made a short approach without affecting his arrival at all.
 
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