Bridging the gap between STAR and approach

When entering your flight plan and the last fix on your STAR leaves you with an extreme angle, or no safe way to enter your approach, how do you address that issue? Adding waypoints that allow enough space to execute a safe turn, or continue your flight until you’re actually in a position to begin your approach is simple enough, but that could easily create conflicts with other aircraft or ATC. I’ve tried to look at the various approach tutorials, etc and saw references for skipping waypoints that create sharp turns or extreme heading changes, but those STARs terminate at the airport. The STARs I’m referencing terminate at a location that is prior to the destination airport, and skipping waypoints don’t solve the navigation issue. Arrival into LAX or JFK are good examples of this (see pics).


I usually just stick a waypoint or two to make the turn a bit smoother.

Honestly it isn’t really “unsafe”, the autopilot will take the sharp turn into consideration and will start the turn earlier.


STAR charts like that are created so such gaps can be bridged by radar vectors. You can splice them together using a custom waypoint path like I do.

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The JFK one for example is unique. There is a missing altitude minimum, which is 19,000 at LENDY. Then after that, NY approach gives vectors to the final approach course. And yes, @Gtmkm98 is correct.

Backing up @Gtmkm98 here, here’s a chart for the approach to KLAX you showed. As you can see in the bottom right, after GADDO you should be given radar vectors by ATC to the final approach course


Yea, I don’t mind adding a few in. I just didn’t want it to lead to an issue with ATC if they’re trying to manage spacing, or depend on them for vectors if they’re already busy. Thx

Usually add a few waypoint in, to keep the turn nice. On STARs like that, IRL there’s usually a procedure turn involved.

In IF, ATC will usually vector you well before you get to that point.


I would do VFR Approach in such case, although if approach controller is present then you must be vectored manually since your intercept procedure angle is inappropriate.

I turn off LNAV as the sharp turn approaches and extend my downwind, turn to base perpendicular to the runway, and give myself a 30 degree intercept like ATC normally would.

Probably wouldn’t happen at KLAX but at smaller airports you could use a procedure turn if authorized on the approach.

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