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Heathrow 777 crash flattens servers

Pilot service PPruNe downed

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Yesterday's crash-landing of a BA Boeing 777 at Heathrow had the unfortunate knock-on effect of flattening the servers of the Professional Pilots Rumour Network (PPRuNe).

This morning, the site was showing the following message:

PPRuNe Servers vs Exceptionaly High Number of Visitors

Whilst this may be a sore point for many of you who actually manage to read this, due to the BA B777 accident at LHR yesterday and the intense interest it has generated worldwide, the number of people attempting to log into PPRuNe has more than doubled. This has led to some problems with the servers being able to handle the loads.

PPRuNe is scheduled to transfer to new, more powerful servers in three weeks. Whilst this should resolve the problems, it does not help in the short term. We are making every effort to control how many people are able to log on to PPRuNe at any one time.

Our normal level of visitors runs at around 2,500 at any one time. This increased to over 7,000 yesterday and caused a partial meltdown of our servers. It has been running at around 3,500 overnight and has once again increased to over 5,000 this morning.

This causes the server to run quite slowly, for obvious reasons. To try and alleviate this problem, a system has been installed that gives priority to visitors who have registered and are logged in. I will be tweaking these facilities throughout the day but we are currently restricted by overwhelming numbers of visitors.

If you are a guest and manage to read this, then congratulations. You are one of only a few to be able to do so. Please bear with us whilst we try to keep everything running, albeit more slowly than usual. If you are a registered member and are logged in and have had the "server busy" message more times than you would like, then I apologise for the substandard experience you are having of PPRuNe at this time.

The PPRuNe site is still down this afternoon, and we have no doubt our publishing the link will only add to its woes*.

Still, at least it can be fixed, which is more than can be said for the 777. According to a Heathrow worker who spoke to pilot Peter Burkill, the aircraft "shut down and lost power" when it was at 400ft and around 20 seconds from landing. Some have speculated a flock of geese was responsible for killing the engines.

Burkill has since been praised for gliding the stricken airliner over houses and managing to belly-flop it 50 yards inside the perimeter fence. Just 18 of the 136 passengers suffered minor injuries in the crash-landing.

The Department for Transport's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), has launched an investigation and will "analyse data from the plane's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, as well as talk to pilots, passengers and air controllers", the Telegraph reports. ®

Bootnote

*Spare us the "so why did you publish the link?" whines. Even if we didn't, the first thing you lot would do is Google the PPRuNe, so we've saved you the trouble.

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