Flight Service Software Crashes; Pilot Briefings Delayed

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Lockheed Martin computer programmers are trying to figure out why a planned software upgrade to FS21 caused the system to crash late Tuesday night. AVweb received a tip from a former briefer in Michigan that the system went down at about 0100Z. A spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin told AVweb that when they realized the FS21 upgrade was “unstable,” they reverted to the backup system known as AISR (Aeronautical Information System Replacement). “It provides the same type of information as FS21 but it’s in disparate sources so it takes a little longer for the briefing,” the spokeswoman said. “In the morning, queue times were several minutes, but by around 11 a.m. they were in the single digits.”

Lockheed Martin posted an alert on its Web site indicating that calls to 800-WX-BRIEF may be delayed until the problem is resolved. A notice posted to the Web site on March 9 indicated that the software upgrade was being done to “provide improvements to the service we provide especially in PIREP processing with a more efficient mask for obtaining the data from the pilot, among other items.” The FAA has agreed to provide Congress with a status report every 90 days on Lockheed Martin’s performance in managing the FSS contract. The next one is expected to be delivered at the end of April.