Aviation: Air-Traffic-Glitch Control?

A computer software failure in a Federal Aviation Administration air-traffic-control center near Los Angeles last week delayed hundreds of flights in the West, canceled dozens more and left thousands of passengers fuming.

Inside the center, it was even worse. "The whole world fell apart," said an FAA employee on duty. First, the system started rebooting, distorting the critical information the radars displayed. When no quick fix could be found, the controllers who direct the almost 7,000 flights a day that flow through the airspace were switched to the emergency system. Some of them were not up to speed on that version,...

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