Spy Plane Fries Air Traffic Control Computers, Shuts Down LAX

FRANCIS GARY POWERSNBC News – by Andrew Blankstein

A relic from the Cold War appears to have triggered a software glitch at a major air traffic control center in California Wednesday that led to delays and cancellations of hundreds of flights across the country, sources familiar with the incident told NBC News.

On Wednesday at about 2 p.m., according to sources, a U-2 spy plane, the same type of aircraft that flew high-altitude spy missions over Russia 50 years ago, passed through the airspace monitored by the L.A. Air Route Traffic Control Center in Palmdale, Calif. The L.A. Center handles landings and departures at the region’s major airports, including Los Angeles International (LAX), San Diego and Las Vegas.  

The computers at the L.A. Center are programmed to keep commercial airliners and other aircraft from colliding with each other. The U-2 was flying at 60,000 feet, but the computers were attempting to keep it from colliding with planes that were actually miles beneath it.

Though the exact technical causes are not known, the spy plane’s altitude and route apparently overloaded a computer system called ERAM, which generates display data for air-traffic controllers. Back-up computer systems also failed.

A NASA ER-2 high altitude research aircraft is shown in flight on Nov. 4, 1997.

As a result, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had to stop accepting flights into airspace managed by the L.A. Center, issuing a nationwide ground stop that lasted for about an hour and affected thousands of passengers.

At LAX, one of the nation’s busiest airports, there were 27 cancellations of arriving flights, as well as 212 delays and 27 diversions to other airports. Twenty-three departing flights were cancelled, while 216 were delayed. There were also delays at the airports in Burbank, Long Beach, Ontario and Orange County and at other airports across the Southwestern U.S.

In a statement to NBC News, the FAA said that it was “investigating a flight-plan processing issue” at the L.A. Air Route Traffic Control Center, but did not elaborate on the reasons for the glitch and did not confirm that it was related to the U-2’s flight.

“FAA technical specialists resolved the specific issue that triggered the problem on Wednesday, and the FAA has put in place mitigation measures as engineers complete development of software changes,” said the agency in a statement. “The FAA will fully analyze the event to resolve any underlying issues that contributed to the incident and prevent a reoccurrence.”

Sources told NBC News that the plane was a U-2 with a Defense Department flight plan. “It was a ‘Dragon Lady,’” said one source, using the nickname for the plane. Edwards Air Force Base is 30 miles north of the L.A. Center. Both Edwards and NASA’s Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center, which is located at Edwards, have been known to host U-2s and similar, successor aircraft.

The U.S. Air Force is still flying U-2s, but plans to retire them within the next few years.

Gary Hatch, spokesman for Edwards Air Force Base, would not comment on the Wednesday incident, but said, “There are no U-2 planes assigned to Edwards.”

A spokesperson for the Armstrong Flight Research Center did not immediately return a call for comment.

Developed more than a half-century ago, the U-2 was once a workhorse of U.S. airborne surveillance. The plane’s “operational ceiling” is 70,000 feet. In 1960, Francis Gary Powers was flying a U-2 for the CIA over the Soviet Union when he was shot down. He was held captive by the Russians for two years before being exchanged for a KGB colonel in U.S. custody. A second U.S. U-2 was shot down over Cuba in 1962, killing the pilot.


11 thoughts on “Spy Plane Fries Air Traffic Control Computers, Shuts Down LAX

  1. Expect an attack on computers and electrical systems (EMP?), because it looks to me like this event was staged, and this article was written to prepare you for exactly that.

    “…the spy plane’s altitude and route apparently overloaded a computer system..”

    Are you kidding me? Computers, and computer controlled flight control aren’t exactly “new technology” anymore, and nor are U2 spy planes. It’s silly to think that one plane’s route and altitude would “overload a computer system”, and conveniently enough, the “back up systems failed” too. This non-sense has about as much scientific validity as claiming that you’ll be able to climb walls after being bitten by a radioactive spider, but unfortunately, this invention wasn’t written for a comic book. They’re just used to Americans being gullible enough to believe anything.

    An internet and electrical shut down will mean the attack, or the rounding up of dissidents has begun. If this happens, get out of your house.

    1. This will also give them something to blame the economic collapse on, and we’re seeing similarly incredulous stories about bank computer systems’ vulnerability too.

      Economic collapse, and the war on dissidents will all happen under cover of a CIA-created blackout of the internet and the electrical grid. When the lights come back on, we’ll be living in the Communist States of America, and they won’t even try to hide it anymore.

      1. So true, the bolsheviks think they have the upper hand, and are getting ready to make their move under the guise of ‘security’. I suspect there will be fake gas shortage just before the SHTF to keep the pleibs at home.

    2. Yep, how did the backup systems fail too? Has “inside job” written all over it. Another government sponsored operation.

  2. this is a lie to cover for something else.

    i dont know what else, but i do know this:

    when the ATCS went down, so did both Sprint & Verizon networks in the same area.

  3. ‘Sources said’ by investigative reporter blankenstien. More kike BS for the goys. Verizon and ATT phones were also affected in the LA area, sounds like a satellite problem, Jamming perhaps?

  4. Wow! If We the People flew a plane that did this, we’d be shot down and called terrorists, but when the government does it, it’s just an “honest mistake”, “a glitch”, “an accident”, no biggie. I see how it is.

  5. Well hey everyone, I just want to say that I’m truly glad we have TSA there at the airport to protect us from these SPY PLANES and POWER OUTAGES in case things really would have gotten out of hand. (sarcasm)

    Oh wait! They knew anything about it. Why do we have them again? They can’t even secure their own airspace.

    Just another reason to show how completely useless TSA is.

    I’m sure if they were given guns, (like they were hoping for after the LAX false flag incident), they would have closed off the entire airport and brandished their guns at everyone like a bunch of psychotic terrorists, thinking that someone inside the airport caused the glitch. That’s how dumb they are.

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