Screens (Briefly) Go Blank At California TRACON

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Another major technical foul-up briefly snarled California airspace on Thursday. After suffering a power failure last April and the failure of a radio system (in which the backups failed, too) earlier this year, controllers' screens went blank at the major Terminal Radar Approach Control center watching over the comings and goings at dozens of airports in Southern California and as far east as Las Vegas. This time the backup system worked and the screens were back on within five minutes. But even that little blip affected dozens of flights, causing delays (albeit short ones) in the air and on the ground. "It's very serious when one of your radar systems goes out -- even if you have two," FAA spokesman Donn Walker told the Los Angeles Times. "We're working very aggressively to find out why it went down and make sure it doesn't happen again." Controllers stayed in radio contact with all the affected flights within the control zone and those waiting to enter were put in holding patterns until the screens came back on.