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All landings and departures at Paine Field were canceled on Monday as 5G poses risk for regional jets

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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON — On Monday, Alaska Airlines' regional subsidiary Horizon Air suspended all flights in and out of the Paine Field to avoid 5G interference, as fog shrouded the airport. ( עוד...

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Dan Chiasson 21
This train-wreck issue continues to feed the news with the embarrassing fact that A- it was totally avoidable, B- government agencies are dysfunctional to a 3rd world level and, C- greed is very often a contributing factor to such fiascos.
8984p 4
Totally agree
flynavy001 8
WX at PAE Monday was pretty much WOXOF for most of the day due to fog.
linbb 1
Appears that there ablity to even if possible make instrument flights because of AC type was the cause also.
srobak 1
I have a photo of a dreamlifter ILSing at PAE on Tuesday... you can barely make out the shape in the soup - and cannot even see the runway in the pic.
vector4traffic 9
It would be great if the FAA could video the altimeter failing because of 5G. Somehow they aren't doing this. Maybe it wouldn't help their narrative.
rick SCOTT 1
Sitting on the ramp at SLC, we watched the radio altimeter go from 0 to 1500 and back down in a few seconds. Too quick to catch it on video..
srobak 1
that had nothing to do with this. I've seen this on collins units when sitting on the ground for years. Is auto recal enabled?
ted wells 2
Show the world the evidence.
Rick Hein 3
Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but has there been any observed interference to date?
This sounds a little like being told to make sure all cell phones and computers are off during takeoff and landing due to interference.
srobak 5
except it has nothing to do with the phones, and everything to do with the 5g tower equipment. Supposedly.
Jeff Hill 2
I believe Rick was referring to the fact that all the warnings about cell phones and computers during takeoff and landing were actually bogus as no problems were ever demonstrated, just like with the 5G cell tower issue. He wasn't suggesting that cell phones on the planes are part of the current 5G issue.
srobak 1
avionik99 3
This 5G so reminds me of the Y2K farse! Anyone old enough to remember that one? This is just the same. Everyone running around yelling the sky is falling.
Frank van der Hulst 21
Having been in IT at Y2K, I can tell you it *could* have been disastrous. Certainly it was overhyped, but that hype did ensure that the effort was put in and it didn't actually become a drama.

This is the same, but different in that there hasn't been 2 years of hype and the FAA and aircraft manufacturers didn't bother to prove that their equipment wouldn't be affected.
w2bsa 3
Same situation here, I agree with your assessment on this and I say this not only as a retired IT professional but as a amateur radio operator since 1993, call sign W2BSA.
srobak -6
you might want to read the FAA's bulletin published on Jan 16 which lists the commercial equipment types which are not affected due to the updated instruments which were designed and implemented with this very situation in mind. It covers roughly 95% of all commercial types that are currently in the sky. This is mostly bloviating by a handful of airlines who want to shift the media and public focus off their ridiculous covid policies, nothing more. It is the latest shiny object to get attention, that's all.
Stephen Leftly 8
I worked in IT for a major financial services firm in 1999. I can tell you for an actual fact that if we had not done a huge amount of coding changes EVERY SINGLE STOCK TRADE for the entire NY Stock Exchange would have failed a few days before the end of the year in 1999 (the trade settlement date (trade date +3) would have appeared to be before the trade date). If I remember correctly we had to be certified with the NYSE by mid year. There were literally millions of lines of code to change and hundreds of thousands of files to rebuild... just in our company alone. It was a massive effort to change all the programs and files and test the hell out of everything!

The fact that there were so few problems is a testament to effort and diligence of thousands of developers, not that there wasn't an issue.

I also know other IT folks in other industries had their own issues which in some cases required physical hardware upgrades as well as code changes.

The comment by avionik99 is the equivalent of saying we don't need seat belts because nobody got injured in the crash....because they were wearing seatbelts.

Dan Chiasson 3
Frankly, no heroics to be called out. You, as did I, simply did our job. Healthcare IT was my segment and the implications of a device going sideways were way more critical than stock trading. IMHO.
srobak -2
you do realize that the exchange failure would have been a good thing, right? the only thing all that effort did was prolong the bad - and amplify it. and look where we are now. uhg.
Jeff Hill 1
Yes, look where we are now. Stocks are way up vs. the year 2000, and people who were smart enough to invest back then are very happy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average today is approximately 3X what it was then. We are currently in the middle of an apparently short term adjustment in stock prices, which happens every so often, but overall the market is up a whole lot since Y2K.
srobak 2
Yep - and only the 1% are benefitting from any of it. The rest of us? We work more manhours than we did even 30 years ago because all adults in the household have to work full time to cover the bills - so proportionately we are earning less.
Dan Chiasson 3
All fine and good but ask the vast majority of Americans if their buying power now is anywhere close to what it was in Y2K. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. For a 1st world economy to have such pitiful worker benefits is a shame. Where is that shining house on the hill?
Stephen Leftly 0
I really doubt it would have been a "good Thing" if the market cratered. While there are certainly issues with the distribution of wealth it clearly would have damaged everybody if the stock market collapsed.
srobak 0
understand - I don't mean collapse. I mean outright failure. As in 86'ed.
linbb 5
Bet your life and pax that there is no problem? Doubt it bs walks fact talks.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

srobak -5
actually I think this is more on the airlines trying to shift focus away from their ridiculous covid policies. the faa released a bulletin on Jan 16 listing which aircraft types are not affected. It includes over 95% of the commercial aircraft currently in the air - and ironically 100% of Emirates fleet.
erisajd 2
The airlines, govt and the cell companies have known about this for years. I first heard about it in 2019. The airlines and cell companies have been playing chicken for 2 years at least. Neither making the slightest effort to fix the potential problem.
srobak -3
you might want to read the FAA's bulletin published on Jan 16 which lists the commercial equipment types which are not affected due to the updated instruments which were designed and implemented with this very situation in mind. It covers roughly 95% of all commercial types that are currently in the sky. This is mostly bloviating by a handful of airlines who want to shift the media and public focus off their ridiculous covid policies, nothing more. It is the latest shiny object to get attention, that's all.
Al V 2
I'll avoid comment on the ridiculous cov*d policies ... for which the government has gladly accepted responsibility ...

to my knowledge the aircraft equipment (radio altimeter system) has not changed since they were installed. I've seen no "special equipment list" on these aircraft which have been operating since before 3G was deployed, let alone 5G

So, if you have a reference available, from the FAA, which directs such modification of the already FAA-PMA approved radio altimeter systems used ... in any given commercial airliner ... I'd appreciate it.
srobak 0
You can take that up with the FAA.,approvals%20in%20the%20coming%20days.
Wayne Fox 2
Please explain to my simple mind why the companies installing 5g can not help commercial aircraft owners and manufacturers upgrade the systems that are failing or could fail? Seems to be in both of their best interests and the general flying public's as well.
Dan Chiasson 2
That would require collaboration for a common good involving government agencies and associated costs to each so, , , hahah -good one on that idea seeing the light of day at this point unless the government steps in and mandates something that it, in effect, allowed to happen in the first place. Greed is an underlying and powerful theme here. The telco's got the green light from the FCC so the horse was let out of the barn. Oops, FCC did not consult with the FAA? Too late, the horse named Telco left the barn already. Personalities, egos, and territory are in serious play at this point so, to quote Vonnegut Jr.: Welcome to the Monkey House
Frank van der Hulst 2
The telcos have bought the right to use a bunch of frequencies. Radar altimeters *might* have been poorly engineered and need those frequencies to be unused, despite no-one having bought them. This has been brewing for 2 years but no-one got round to checking whether radar altimeters do actually need the frequencies until 16 Jan, at which point they found that radar altimeters (installed by Boeing and Airbus) made in the last 16-24 years are in fact OK.

Why would other modern radar altimeters be different?
Karluz Heiz 2
Worst for Embraer wich had now it's planes unable to land in low visibility conditions, differently from Boeing and Airbus which have no issues...Embraer wich is no selling much planes now have another reason for buyers stay away from their planes.
Michael Scallan 1
Just a question: ADS-B is mandated for all IFR certified aircraft. Why can't ADS-B be used as a check on the altimeter reading when approaching an airport in marginal conditions?
tseberger 5
Pressure altitude isn’t accurate enough for These precision approaches to very low weather. ADSB just reports pressure alt. Radar altimeters actually ‘ping’ distance to the ground.
Michael Scallan 2
ADS-B is more than just pressure altitude. To report §91.227 Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipment performance requirements. Requires the installation of redundant GPS.
(2) An indication of the aircraft's latitude and longitude;
(3) An indication of the aircraft's barometric pressure altitude;
(4) An indication of the aircraft's velocity
GPS has a consistant altitude reading, so upgraded software for the ACARS could use the GPS altitude and compare it to the air pressure data. Some airlines already have this feature. Also, software to alarm the pilot of anomalies of the radar altitude vs. GPS altitude data can be integrated. Just trying to solve the problem which the FCC is reluctant to fix.
ted wells 1
Signal encoding has been around for 40 years and the electronics evolution since tells me there is/should have been easy signal separation - even with same frequencies.
Bill Butler 1
I've been out of it for a good while now. But "back in the day". the GCA accomplished the landing. There were other requirements, not the least of which was the pilot's certification. Then, you could see the desire to take the machine out of the pilot's hands and do all of this automatically. Glad I left it when I did, in hindsight.
Juan Jimenez 1
Fake news. Not all landings or departures were cancelled.
paul trubits 0
I just flew from KDEN to KORD. My Verizon phone is getting 5G at both airports. WTF?
Dennis Ernst 4
The issue here is C-band 5G. There are other 5G frequency bands available. Hopefully, that's what you where using. It's possible if you drill down in the Settings->phone stuff you might find the actual band in use.
Brandon Bianchi 1
On an iPhone *3001#12345#*<send>
Brandon Bianchi 2
Oops! *3001#12345*#<send> this one is correct :)
Brandon Bianchi 2
Marketing confusion.

5G isn’t the matter at hand technically. It’s the 5G Ultra Wideband (on your phone it would be “5G uw”) which is the very fast (500Mbps down / 50 Mbps up) service for your phone.
srobak 1
and is still a full 200MHz away from aviation. As i said in a thread from last week - a radio station at 107.9 has a much greater chance of causing problems for localizers running in the 108MHz space than 5G has of interfering with altimeter. Yet no one ever cried about that.
avionik99 -1
Because this seems to be a total political mess between the FAA and the FCC and internally with the FAA. There has been nothing proven to show that 5G is a hazard. Many aircraft types have been approved for 5G already. 60+ other countries have rolled out 5G.
Al V 10
avionik99 .... here's the problem; lack of knowledge. For decades pilot training has been diluted, AMT training has been diluted (tech crew chiefs). There's a youtuber called blancolirio who has a great 20 minute vid on this topic and the bottom line is ... trust has been broken.

the 5G being engaged in the US isn't as it's been in Europe; directional antennas and about 1/3 the power of the US deployment.

Yes, politics is involved ... as always. However there are some real safety of flight concerns about this interference with radio altimeters and as you no doubt know, MANY subsystems rely upon accurate radio altimeter information to function properly. Evidently the 787's autobrakes rely upon it rather than a "weight on wheels" micro switch.

my understanding is that the "real" 5G has again been delayed in the US around airports until 1 Feb ... now we have this nebulous "AMOC" (Alternate Means of Compliance) but I'm not real sure what the difference IS from standard procedure.

maybe it's all hype ... but as one responsible for the passengers/crew/aircraft, I'd just as soon avoid being the test pilot for this hype on a revenue flight.

flight departments fielded a "5G" setting on our landing data application ... hint ... this increases landing distance due to the presumptive failure of autobrakes/ground spoilers/thrust reversers. How about THAT "MEL?" What's the "repair" category on THAT? ... and EVERY aircraft is going to be dispatched into this?

Might as well give me an AMOC to operate in icing conditions without a fully functioning anti-ice system and say ... "Oh, what are the odds?"
Jim Allen 4
Ok, I have to ask. Why count on wireless communication when a “weight on wheels” micro switch makes so much sense? That sounds like a screwup waiting to happen. I’ve come to distrust Boeing after reading about the cultural changes brought about by Douglas management. An aircraft is not a commodity. A manufacturer shouldn’t charge extra to ensure your AOA sensors agree.
Al V 7
great question. IDK.

Why did the FAA certify it with that system?

I mean ... that's where the buck stops, right? Because big corp is gonna big corp which means profit above all else.

Who certified the 737Max? it's manuals? It's training?

Who's in charge of this reconciliation of 5G? Sounds like the government has committed gross buffoonery AGAIN. But we keep allowing (even begging) more of it.
Brandon Bianchi 5
Have you ever looked at the insane revenue these spectrum auctions generate for the government? So you’ve got the FCC being like cool bro I’ll trade you a cool billion.5 for some frequencies you can have a license to use. The FCC doesn’t ask the FAA if they care at this point. Already we were setup to fail, it just took this long to get to the part where these carriers want to start recouping all this cash from spectrum, hardware, tower leases etc. Who’s wrong, no one. The cell carriers played by the rules. The FAA sat on their hands (because probably like most federal agencies they have bare bones teams) or rather, had other things to do.

Government agencies need better communication between each other. All these spectrum auctions that even have potential to interfere with other licensed services or life and property should have much more oversight. Radio Altimeters have been in this space for years, ignorance as to how they work shouldn’t be the reason we’re where we are, but it sure feels that way.
Dan Chiasson 7
The bare fact is that the manufacturers, thanks to intense lobbying, were allowed to a greater extent than ever to self-police themselves. Recipe for disaster and we saw with Boeing, what happens when the shareholder / stock price is priority #1.
Al V 2
I don't disagree ... but whose certification is it? It's not Boeing's.

As you've aptly stated, big corp gonna big corp.

... and ya know what ... big govt gonna big govt; justify the job.
erisajd 1
how can you NOT use a weight on wheels switch?

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