There is a false altitude assigned on the LAPN1W Star at LOWW

Posting this because of the FNF and a lot of aircraft arriving at the airport.

To all aircraft arriving on the LAPN1W arrival, be aware there is a problem with the assigned altitude. The altitude goes down to 8000ft while still far away from the runway, Then at the next waypoint the assigned altitude goes up to 18,000 then back down to 8000 at a much more reasonable distance from the airport.

If you are using this star and press VNAV, it will descend to a very low altitude far away from the airport.

I am advising aircraft inbound to LOWW from the South not to use this arrival procedure


Source: VIE charts

I would imagine that 18000 is the highest one could be at NIGSI. What I would do is to omit the set altitudes from fixes LAPNA and NIGSI and just aim for the 8000 feet at BALAD


yeah, i’m currently on downwind in a 738, descended down to 16,000 to far away and realised the problem


To add to this, reading attitudes in Aviation Charts:

  • attitude underlined > lower limit > stay above
  • attitude with line above > upper limit > stay below
  • single attitude with line above and below > exact assignment > stay exact at this attitude
  • two attitudes with line above and below them > attitude band with upper and lower limit > stay between them

The first three are typically found at fixes, the last one more for the way between them. Where you can find single value at the way without any line (like in the example chart), this is the lower limit.

For IF there is only one value assigned to fixes, and this is typically the lower limit. In the example you are correct, it shouldn’t be FL180 in IF but 8000.

At the end, it is up to you to check the Flightplan for plausibility and change it where needed. You can override the attitude value for the fix or ignor it caus VNAV won’t climb anyway after decend to the previous…


Yes I agree, People should be responsible for checking flight plans and checking the STAR before selecting it, I saw alot of other people who hadn’t noticed this and found themselves at 8000 too far away. Luckily I realised what had happened when I noticed how far away I was while descending through 22,000ft. Thanks for providing more insight to this issue!

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I find that IF implemented the upper limits of these STARs. I can’t tell you how many STARs in the US have this 9000 18000 6000 issue of back and forth. If i didn’t have charts or no where to find them it would be super confusing. A lot of the major US Airports have a pretty smooth minimum altitude transition on their approach waypoints so I’m not sure why they didn’t just stick with the minimum altitudes.

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