50 American Airlines planes grounded because of faulty map app
Several dozen pilots couldn't get flight plans uploaded to their tablets in the cockpit
American Airlines grounded more than 50 flights across the U.S. on Tuesday and Wednesday after the iPad tablets that pilots use to get their flight plans stopped working because of a third-party software problem.
A spokeswoman for the airline, Andrea Huguely, said that pilots were deleting and reinstalling the map app to fix the problem.
Huguely said that 24 flights were delayed Tuesday night and about 30 on Wednesday. She said no flights were cancelled. However, some passengers said on social media that they left planes after pilots announced delays.
The software was made by Jeppesen, a division of aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. Jeppesen spokesman Michael Pound said the problem was traced to a duplicate chart for Reagan National Airport, "which was causing the app to become unresponsive."
American Airlines in 2012 became the first U.S. airline to get FAA approval to use electronic versions of flight manuals instead of printed ones, which the airline claims would save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in fuel costs from having to transport bulky paper flight plans everywhere.
Two dozen flights were delayed Tuesday night, and more were delayed on Wednesday.
In some cases, planes had to return to the gate to access a Wi-Fi connection to fix the issue, which is achieved by pilots deleting and reinstalling the mapping app. The airline said it identified and fixed the problem as quickly as possible.
With files from The Associated Press