There have been a spate of plane crashes in the news recently, headlined by the July crash of an Asiana Airlines flight while landing in San Francisco. Now, a British flight has narrowly avoided disaster after a problem with its embedded software systems.
British Airways flight to Beijing was forced to make an emergency landing in Siberia with 270 passengers aboard after its navigation systems failed, according to the London Evening Standard. While passengers will have to experience the inconvenience of staying in local hotels - not mention the often brutal weather of Siberia - they are lucky nothing worse happened. Russian sources claimed the airline diagnosed the problem as a serious one and had to fly in engineers to fix it before they could even move it.
Thankfully, disaster was averted in this instance as the plane was cleared to land only 40 minutes after its request - yet if it had to wait longer, a tragic situation could have taken place. Avionics software testing can make sure that problems like this will be rare and airlines can be more certain that passengers will not be scared by these sorts of emergencies as frequently.