Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, May 06, 2014

A very old spy plane and a very new computer system played pivotal roles in last week's computer glitch that temporarily paralyzed flight operations in southern California, officials tell CNN. The problem involved a U-2 aircraft, the type famed for conducting reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Union during the Cold War. A Federal Aviation Administration computer system interpreted the U-2's flight path at a very high altitude as if it were flying in a much lower and more crowded airspace. The computer -- which anticipates the flight path and looks for possible conflicts such as other aircraft or restricted airspace -- was overtaxed by the many flight changes the U-2 had plotted, officials said.


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"The fact the plane was a U-2 was not significant, one FAA official said. But the plane's many waypoints, or geographic fixes, and its numerous altitude changes overwhelmed a system that projects the flights path and anticipates problems. The situation was complicated by the FTI outage, one official said. That overtaxed the FAA's flight-processing system, which in turn brought down the FAA's new En Route Automation Modernization system, which manages high-altitude air traffic.

The FAA official likened it to a problem with a software program causing a laptop computer to crash."


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Two FAA officials, speaking on background Monday, blamed the shutdown on the unlikely convergence of two events.

First, a U-2 aircraft flew a path that involved numerous waypoints and altitude changes in airspace controlled by three facilities. Those facilities were the Los Angeles and Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Centers, and the High Desert TRACON at Edwards Air Force Base.
Simultaneously, there was an outage of the Federal Telecommunications Infrastructure, a primary conduit of information among FAA facilities.

Convenient that the FAA would point fingers at an aircraft that was flying 20,000 feet above anything else in the region while glossing over the fact that the primary data exchange conduit between all the ATC facilities in Southern California had suffered a total shutdown.

#1 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-05-06 07:37 AM | Reply | Flag:

as always, things are not what they seem.

#2 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2014-05-06 08:52 AM | Reply | Flag:

Obama is meeting all day today with meteorologists from all over the Country about Man Made Global warming....

With less planes in the air and fewer jobs Obama can improve the Carbon foot print of our Country,,,

#3 | Posted by ATaxpayer at 2014-05-06 10:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

The national security state serves (or is it screws?) us again while stripping billions from our national wealth reserve.

#4 | Posted by Robson at 2014-05-06 11:24 AM | Reply | Flag:

Where's Khrushchev when you need him?

#5 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-06 05:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

Typical government programers. Works just as good as helthcare.gov

#6 | Posted by tmaster at 2014-05-06 09:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

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