Home Forums Safety Altitude caution advisory

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    John Benario
    General Member

    I flew (737) into Ontario on the Ziggy arrival a couple of days ago.  We passed directly above Crestline launch at 8400 MSL and we could have been lower if we weren’t following a UPS DC-10 and had to maintain wake turbulence separation.  Passenger traffic is picking up and Ontario was one of the fastest growing stations before Covid hit which will mean more flights into Ontario.

    Keep in mind you may be sharing the airspace with a 737 (or bigger) above 8000 if you are in the vicinity of Crestline.

    John Benario
    General Member


    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Sort of like these two encounters on the same day….

    David Webb
    General Member

    A wise man in orange once told me “don’t linger at 8k over Crestline.” Looks like that advice holds water.


    Scare liner >> I’m the 4 small white dots :) Dusty took 4 pics and stitched them together somehow. I think he was at around 12K and climbing. I was climbing through 10.5K I guess.. I think we topped out around 12.5K… looks like the airliner adjusted its heading just a bit… Copy (1) of Mark+Verses+Alaska+Air+reens copy

    John Benario
    General Member

    Thanks, Mitch, but not new.  My goal as safety director is to help the club operate as safely as possible.  There are always new pilots joining us who may not have the knowledge that you have as a 30 year HG pilot, or me as an airline pilot and a 35 year HG pilot.  These new pilots probably aren’t aware that there is a terminal arrival route directly over Crestline at altitudes that are not uncommon for us to reach.  It it those pilots I am trying to reach and provide useful information to.

    You have many years of valuable experience.  I look forward to your help in keeping our club members safe.



    Mario Miralles
    General Member

    John, thanks for sharing your personal experience and thanks for volunteering to be the safety director. There are a number of times each year that I have to let a newbie or visiting pilot know about this, so it is relevant and helpful, especially with the traffic increasing and the consequences of a midair.

    Mitch, saying that John is misinformed, bragging about his job or pretending superior knowledge says more about you than anything based on reality. I would suggest not polluting this forum anymore or learn to delete personal attacks before submitting your posts, because what little useful knowledge or information you add gets lost in your delivery.

    Dan DeWeese
    CSS Instructor

    Heres a kmz file. actual paths curve through the waypoints.


    John Benario
    General Member

    Dan, what do I need for my Mac to look at the KMZ file?



    David Webb
    General Member

    There are other methods, but one simple way is to download Google Earth:


    You can import kmz files directly into that.

    John Benario
    General Member

    Jonathon pointed out something to add.  The airliners are not guaranteed to be on that particular path.  Sometimes we are vectored off path for spacing reasons, or more frequently, once you are cleared for a visual approach you can do whatever you want.  Come down quickly, veer away from the Ontario if you need more time to come down, turn directly toward Ontario if you are coming down fast enough.

    In Mark’s picture the airplane veering left is probably to give themselves more time to come down.



    David Webb
    General Member

    Using the KMZ file from Dan, in addition to the master KMZ with all of the local waypoints, here’s the path of the Ziggy. Notice the shadow on the ground – looks like it goes right between Billboard and Crestline launch.


    John Benario
    General Member

    The arrival is called an RNAV arrival.  We have to use RNAV to follow it.  RNAV is a combination of GPS and INS, so they can check on each other. The path accuracy of the RNAV system and the autopilot is about .05 (!) nautical miles.  Yes, it is that good.  Most pilots are not going to be hand flying on the arrival, so the path accuracy is basically dead on.  However, once cleared for a visual, then maybe hand flying, maybe landing gear down to come down faster, turn away before turning back toward ONT as in Mark’s picture.  I think you can assume no one is going to be turning toward ONT off the STAR because it is hard to come down fast enough if you shorten the path.

    ATC can turn us east at any time for spacing.

    The most objective question I think from Gary above is where do they clear us for a visual?  Any time after the dogleg at hitop I think is realistic answer.  Since the weather is good most days, it never rains in southern Ca…., most approaches are visuals, that is why the airplanes are below the altitudes and MEAs specified on the STAR.

    I think David’s path is right on. since I was sitting on the left, and I could look down and see launch, that means the airplane was in between BB and CL.




    Alan Crouse
    General Member

    I’ve been back in the passenger area on several late-day flights from OAK to ONT that seemed to fly a diagonal route down the Cajon Pass.  We were looking up at the ridgeline…   That approach seemed to happen more frequently on north wind days, which always struck me as odd…


    getting & running Google Earth desktop would be best for that and making great Site Maps. Although the web version would work.

    Windows & Mac versions are available: https://www.google.com/earth/versions/

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