FlightAware Discussions

LAN flight path to LAX

Just got back from a trip to South America via LAN (LAX-LIM-SCL-EZE). Heading back the flight path seemed rather straightforward, but shortly after crossing the US-Mexico border it takes a more westerly heading north of Escondido and Oceanside out over the ocean, then a sharp turn to the north over about Seal Beach, then another sharp turn to LAX. Looking at the flight map, it seems like it could’ve gone in a rather direct line, but they make a pretty long dogleg. Why do they do this? I would say they have to avoid Camp Pendleton, but it looks like they go across about the bottom of it. Do other carriers coming into LAX from Latin America have to make the same maneuver?

Probably an ATC re-route. When the original arrival route gets filled up ATC will pick a flight or two and route them to a different arrival. I had it happen to me once in the back of Lufthansa. We were on the arrival from over Las Vegas to Hector then through the Cajon pass over Ontario etc. When we got to Hector we made a hard right turn and went over Palmdale to Filmore and picked up that arrival.

That sounds good (though I don’t know much about air navigation TBH), but looking around it seems like most flights into LAX take this route, such as Copa from Panama City and Aeromexico from Mexico City. Are airlines told to avoid the Temecula-Corona corridor or something, or are there no airliner beacons in that area? I do actually have an airnav map of Southern CA and it looks like there are black-colored beacons at about Mt. Laguna and Oceanside, but only a light-colored one at Perris and nothing in the Temecula area. Did I just answer my own question?

Tell you what…on this website enter KLAX over on the left side. When that page loads look up towards the top and click on IFR plates. When that page loads look for STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) I would be that the OLDEE ONE arrival is the one you are used to but that day your flight was re-routed via the VISTA TWO arrival.
Julian is a ground based nav aid (VOR) northeast of San Diego that is the start of the OLDEE ONE which continues up towards Pomona. As you can see the VISTA arrival also starts at Julian but heads west over Oceanside, Seal Beach etc. Seal Beach is just South east of the Long Beach airport.

Thanks for the tips.

Looking at various flights into LAX, it does seem like a lot of the Latin American arrivals approach via VISTA.

Here’s Aeromexico 630 (arrived 11:10 PM): flightaware.com/live/flight/AMX6 … /MMMX/KLAX
Copa 302 (arrived 10:12 pm): flightaware.com/live/flight/CMP3 … /MPTO/KLAX
Delta 1396 from San Jose, CR (arrived 2:11 pm): flightaware.com/live/flight/DAL1 … /MROC/KLAX
And LAN 600 (arrived 7:22 am today; I was on the Feb. 28 flight): flightaware.com/live/flight/LAN6 … /SPIM/KLAX

Anyone have any ideas why the planes apparently can’t go the OLDEE route?

It may not be that they “can’t go”, it might be the controllers at Socal just don’t find the Oldee arrival to work to their advantage. There could be a lot of reasons. Maybe the altitudes descending toward Pomona interfere with departures from ONT or LAX in some traffic configurations, etc, etc. Or they just find it easier to slide aircraft on a left base from over SLI and mix them in with the international arrivals from the west. (I’m totally guessing here). I’m sure if you asked an arrival controller at Socal they would tell you exactly why.