Collins navigation system glitch grounds regional airlines

Regional airlines in the US were forced to cancel flights at the weekend after the cockpit navigation systems of their jets started to receive error messages,

“We identified a technical issue with our recently released GPS product(s) impacting availability, and have since determined the root cause and the resolution,” said a Collins Aerospace spokesman who added that the avionics manufacturer had started engaging with customers to ensure continued safe operational capability.

Mesa Airlines as well as Delta Air Lines’ subsidiary Endeavor Air, United contractor GoJet, American Airlines-owned PSA Airlines and SkyWest were all affected, grounding 400 flights scheduled to operate on Sunday.

“We are working to determine the cause of the problem, which may have resulted from a software update to the aircraft navigation systems,” the FAA said in a statement.

AIN.com reported that the affected GPS receivers are GPS-4000S part number 822-2189-100 and GLU-2100 part number 822-2532-100.

US business aviation organisation NBAA said the FAA had issued a short-term blanket exemption to allow the affected aircraft to be flown below FL280 and if unable to fly RNAV routes, to use ‘traditional airways and/or navaids’.

According to OpsGroup, NBAA members reported that affected aircraft include the following: Bombardier CRJs and Challenger 300/350, Boeing 737-900, Hawker 750 and 850XP, Cessna Citation CJ3, Gulfstream G200 and G280, Airbus A320, and Boeing MD11.