FAA: Data from U-2 spy plane caused computer issue

May 6, 2014

Federal aviation officials say the air traffic control system around Los Angeles shut down last week because data from the flight plan of a U-2 spy plane confused software that runs the system.

A backup system helped safely guide flights already in the air, but hundreds of planes scheduled to fly to Southern California were grounded.

The FAA said in a statement Monday afternoon that software at an facility north of Los Angeles "experienced problems while processing a filed for a U-2."

The spy plane flies at around 60,000 feet under "visual flight rules." According to the FAA, a computer perceived a conflict between the altitude and the use of visual flight rules and began trying to route the plane to 10,000 feet, overwhelming the software.

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not rated yet May 06, 2014
Yet another example of governmental bureaucratic incompetence.

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