Michiganatc
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Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:09 pm

Just got word that there was an ATC message sent out for a Ground Stop for all "NKS" Spirit Airlines flights to ALL destinations until further advised. Does anyone know why this was done? My only guess would be that maybe Spirit failed to meet FAA safety standards or something related, but that is purely a guess. I can't think of any other reason.
 
nkops
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:10 pm

It was a computer issue, but has been cleared up.. flights are going normally out of ACY as we speak
:evil:
 
BMI727
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:10 pm

Quoting michiganatc (Thread starter):
My only guess would be that maybe Spirit failed to meet FAA safety standards or something related, but that is purely a guess. I can't think of any other reason.

I've never heard of anything like this happening for that reason. I have heard of it happening (though perhaps on a smaller scale) due to computer failures though I forget if it was reservations or dispatch. I think it happened to United a while back.
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UALWN
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:27 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
I think it happened to United a while back.

It did, and I was caught up on it. There were 4-5 hours without UA flights. My IAD-FRA that was due to leave at about 10 pm departed after 2 am... This was almost exactly a year ago.
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Michiganatc
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:25 pm

A computer problem makes much more sense. A few of us were trying to come up with reasons for the ground stop and the safety thing was the initial thought. However, I always thought NKS was a pretty decent airline, definatly a LCC but one of the better ones in my observation. Glad to hear things are back up and running now.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:44 pm

Quoting michiganatc (Reply 4):
A few of us were trying to come up with reasons for the ground stop and the safety thing was the initial thought. H

There are very few things that the FAA will ground an airplane for before further flight. It is possible that a missed maintenance inspection and going over Calendar Time/Flight Cycles/Flight Hours on an Airworthiness Directive, Airworthiness Limitation, or Certified Maintenance Requirement, but it is rare that an airline’s maintenance program is in such disarray that it would happen for more than a single airplane. There are a few cases of mistakes being made in a maintenance program grounding a subfleet of airplanes, but again it is rare. Also the FAA does grant waivers to keep airplanes flying even beyond limits. Grounding an entire airline is even rarer, and if Spirit was at risk for that then it would have been in the news. I can’t think of a grounding since ValuJet (although I’m sure they’ve grounded some small operations).

However having the computerized dispatch system go down is far more likely and happens from time to time. Typically airlines have back up power and backup systems, but when it all fails, reverting to manual systems for reservations, dispatch and maintenance can cause a mess. Maintenance and Reservations can be done manually, but some airlines really struggle to dispatch. Usually IT departments are right on it and it is fixed within hours, but it has happened to other airlines and there have been threads on A.net about it happening to Alaska and United.
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dcaviation
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:50 pm

Quoting UALWN (Reply 3):
It did, and I was caught up on it. There were 4-5 hours without UA flights. My IAD-FRA that was due to leave at about 10 pm departed after 2 am... This was almost exactly a year ago.

I thought that it was a problem only on B757s, not fleet wise.
 
UALWN
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:32 pm

Quoting dcaviation (Reply 8):
I thought that it was a problem only on B757s, not fleet wise.

We were told all central computers were down and nothing could proceed (checking-in, dispatching, etc.). I was on a 777. This was mid-June 2011.
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futureatp
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:12 pm

The United ground stop last June was in fact just the 757s. I was in their PHX operations when it happened. Saw the company fax myself. If I remember right, It was to ensure they were compliant with an AD. TIMCO (who handled UA mx in PHX at the time) mechanics were able to do what was necessary to complete the AD or whatever it was. There was one maybe two 57s in PHX at the time. Was a company grounding not an FAA.

I'm interested as to what the Spirit issue was. I just took a trip on them AZA-DFW-LAS-AZA Saturday. No issues what so ever.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:45 am

Quoting michiganatc (Thread starter):
My only guess would be that maybe Spirit failed to meet FAA safety standards or something related,

Any order issued by the FAA would not be a Ground Stop - but order any aircraft back to the gates and order all flights cancelled, all enroute aircraft to land, etc. It would be announced with a big press conference and banner headlines across all the news media web sites.

As mentioned above this has happened in the past with other carriers.

Today flight plans are not filed with the ATC at the individual airport where the aircraft is going to depart. They are done via computer from a central location directly into the FAA system.

Anything which breaks that link, or makes the company completion of the flight plan internally - means the airline cannot fly.

As mention above - the B757 fleet from UA suffered a similar ground stop - when a software update didn't work properly.

We live in a computer age - anything which grounds an entire airline or a specific type within an airline is much more likely to be a computer problem than a safety problem.
 
OB1504
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:32 am

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 5):
Grounding an entire airline is even rarer, and if Spirit was at risk for that then it would have been in the news. I can’t think of a grounding since ValuJet (although I’m sure they’ve grounded some small operations).

Even then, ValuJet voluntarily grounded themselves only after the crash of flight 592.
 
PWMRamper
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:46 am

They "grounded" Chalk's Airlines flights after the crash off the coast of Florida, didn't they?

Of course grounded is an odd term for a sea plane!
 
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atcsundevil
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:40 am

NOW I know why they charge the "Unintended Consequences" fee! It must be a really unintended consequence that their computers crap out. Must be the FAA/DOT's fault  
 
SouthernDC9
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:30 pm

So what's the final word on this: Did it turn out to be a computer glitch that was blown completely out of proportion?
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nkops
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:04 pm

Quoting SouthernDC9 (Reply 13):

It was a computer problem with getting the flight releases but was cleared up fairly quickly
:evil:
 
Beechtobus
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:07 pm

IT network glitch at Miramar Headquarters, sounds like some faulty switches had to be replaced. Network was 100% as of about 10:30a yesterday.
 
OB1504
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:54 am

Quoting beechtobus (Reply 15):
IT network glitch at Miramar Headquarters, sounds like some faulty switches had to be replaced. Network was 100% as of about 10:30a yesterday.

Was it related to/caused by the reservation system? I wonder how long it'll be before Spirit moves on from Navitaire like just about every other airline in the country.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Spirit Airlines Ground Stop All Flights

Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:40 pm

I would very seriously doubt the flight dispatch system is impacted by the reservation system.

Network switches might carry the same traffic, but my experience is they either fail soon after being installed, or last for years and years and are usually replaced before they fail.