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​U-2 spy plane shutdown LA-region air traffic control - FAA

Published time: May 06, 2014 03:41
U-2 spy plane (Files / AFP Photo / US Air Force)

U-2 spy plane (Files / AFP Photo / US Air Force)

The Federal Aviation Administration has confirmed that the air traffic control system surrounding Los Angeles was shut down last week after data from a U-2 spy plane’s flight plan scrambled the system’s software.

In a statement, the FAA said its software at an air traffic control facility north of Los Angeles FAA “experienced problems while processing a flight plan filed for a U-2 aircraft that operates at very high altitudes under visual flight rules.”

A backup system was employed Wednesday afternoon to help guide flights already in the air, though hundreds of planes scheduled to fly to and from regional airports in Southern California and Las Vegas were affected, according to NBC News.

The U-2 plane flies at around 60,000 feet, but the FAA said a computer misjudged its altitude and tried to reroute the plane to 10,000 feet.

“The computer system interpreted the flight as a more typical low altitude operation, and began processing it for a route below 10,000 feet,” said the FAA.

“The extensive number of routings that would have been required to de-conflict the aircraft with lower-altitude flights," said the FAA, "used a large amount of available memory and interrupted the computer’s other flight-processing functions.”

The FAA ordered nationwide ground for the region that lasted around an hour before the system could be corrected.

Comments (19)


Nikolaos Fanourakis 07.05.2014 12:14

The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.


Daniel Scarlett 07.05.2014 08:12

Autonomous 06.05.2014 18:19



You miss in addition to that, that they were used as spy planes in the cold war and are no longer used as military aircraft since more modern planes have taken their place. They're due to be scrapped soon anyway.


Dee Kudlay 07.05.2014 05:04

Gawd so.. there is a BUG in YOUR SOFTWARE and you blame the RUSSIANS? LOL LOL LOL I should use that in my job. "Me? What? It was the Russians"

View all comments (19)
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