U-2 spy plane shuts down LAX by frying its computer systems

A recent report claims that U-2 spy plane passing through airspace monitored by the L.A. Air Route Traffic Control Center in Palmdale, California caused a glitch that ultimately overloaded and fried computer systems. The U-2 is a spy plane that was used by the U.S. some 50 years back for high-altitude reconnaissance missions over Russia during the Cold War. The control center in Palmdale is responsible for handling landings and departures at major airports in the region.

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.

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