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Bizarre event sparks chaos for pilots in Glasgow

Christian Fernsby |
Pilots taking off and landing at Glasgow Airport suffered major disruption recently due to radio interference caused by a set of vintage lightbulbs in a house in the city.

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Topics: PILOTS    GLASGOW   

The bizarre problem was uncovered by National Air Traffic Services (NATS), with aircrafts affected by the interference when they were between 6,000 and 10,000 feet in the air.

The interference was affecting voice communications between the controllers on the ground and the aircraft.

Meaning that, whenever the aircraft were in the vicinity of the interference, the crew would not hear any air traffic control messages as the signal was swamped by the noise of the interference.

To solve the issue, NATS roped in the help of OFCOM's spectrum assurance team, who were able to create an ‘area of probability’ on a map, in which they could focus the search for the source.

This was done by using flight-tracking software, which allowed them to make a note of where the aircraft were when they reported the issue – and this in turn helped to identify a corresponding location on the ground.

And they eventually located the source of the interference to be a property, and specifically, four 'vintage' lightbulbs within the house that the homeowner had recently bought online.

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