An hour-long temporary ground stop was issued by the FAA on Alaska Airlines flights Wednesday morning, and it also affected Horizon Air.

  Stoppage was due to an issue with airplane weight and balance calculator

For years, airplanes have used what is called "weight and balance" before taking off, to ensure safety and security. Weight and balance take into account the weight of fuel, passengers, cargo etc, and how evenly it is distributed in the aircraft.

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You wouldn't want all the cargo to be stuffed into the back of the plane, nor would you want the plane to have too many passengers or bags. The website Pilotmall.com puts it this way:

"If your aircraft is overweight or if the center of gravity is off, you are putting yourself, your aircraft and your passengers at risk.

You will require increased speed and runway length for takeoff. If your weight and balance is too far off, you may be unable to take off at all or your rate of climb may be too shallow to clear obstructions.

Once in the air – if you make it that far – the controllability and stability of your aircraft will be significantly negatively impacted."

Reuters reports during an update to the system Alaska uses for these purposes, there was an issue, requiring a ground stop (no takeoffs) of all Alaska aircraft. The issue was fixed, and the FAA lifted the ground stop after about an hour, but not before dozens of flights were disrupted.

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