Air computer outage at a regional air traffic control center forced all airspace over London to be shut — leading to absolute chaos at the city’s airports.
Although flights were generally able to land during the ordeal, one unfortunate airliner couldn’t quite make it to its destination. Cityjet flight 88L, an Avro RJ85 regional jet from Amsterdam, was en route to London City Airport when the ATC outage occurred.
Instead landing in the heart of the city, the small plane and its passengers were forced to circle in the skies of southeast London. In fact, the aircraft, spent roughly an hour flying in various oblong patterns. Eventually, the aircraft diverted to Southend-On-Sea Airport — 35 miles away from its original destination.
Holding patterns are common practice in commercial aviation. For example, when New York’s various airports experience delays — which is quite often — aircraft are asked to circle in holding patterns in areas such as off the coast of New Jersey.
Aircraft start at a high altitude and slowly circle down to the bottom of the air space like a funnel — eventually making its way to a runway.
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