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Lasers causing havoc for pilots in record numbers

There's a laser light show taking place in the skies over America. It's cheap. It's easy. But most of all, authorities say, it's dangerous. That's because those laser beams are being aimed at planes and helicopters in record numbers. In fact, so far this year lasers have been aimed at aircraft an average of nine times a night, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It has grown to be such a problem that in June, the FAA imposed a civil penalty of $11,000 for… ( More...

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mark tufts 0
find out where the morons are and blind them with a laser pointer of your own as i know lasers can be seen from acouple of miles away
Sadly, it will take an incident before something substantial get done.
linbb 0
Why so little fine for the laser problem?? Just wait untill there is a major crash but then they will say the person had a bad home life when they were a child and not allowed to try and kill someone. Then they get out of jail free card with help. Oh they could then become one of those TSA people.
Chris Bryant 0
$11k? That's it?!?
IMHO, they should be charged with however many counts of attempted murder as there are souls on board.
NtrPilot 0
I totally agree with Chris. This is not just an annoyance, its a serious, dangerous, problem. Just wait until there is a crash caused by it and then see what them penalty is.
Mike Ferris 0
I'm going with C. Bryant on this one-I'm an F/o for a commuter and we got it goin into philly one night, it's no joke. The only upside that time was I spotted the little bastard before he dialed us in and got my eyes behind the dash.
Victor Engel 0
Although expensive, it's possible to make filters that are selective in what they filter. According to the article, 93% of the incidents are from green lasers. Most of the green lasers transmit a beam at 532 nm. Perhaps pilots should start wearing glasses that filter out 532nm during landing procedures. I realize this is a band-aid approach, but maybe a band-aid is pragmatic at this point. And such a filter would be ineffective on red lasers. You could modify the filter to eliminate both, but at some point, there is a diminishing return.

Astrophotographers, by the way, use similar filters to block light pollution so they can view the stars.
David Brooks 0
$11K is out of portion to the problems they can cause. Much stiffer penalties are called for IMHO. You can buy these laser pointers everywhere - red and green. Victor suggested filters. If the filters could be so narrow that they do not interfere with other colors, maybe they could be made and placed on the cockpit windows? Not a good solution - a work around only.
Roy Kizzia 0
What are the legitimate uses of laser pointers besides giving power point presentations? Is their continued use worth losing a 777 with 300 people on board?

No? then ban the manufacture sale and possession of the damned things. Buy back all the ones out there if necessary. They can't be necessary to the continuation of life on Earth.
David Brooks 0
Those type of low power laser devices are used on guns for aiming, as straight lines for carpenters, and they are present in all of those scanners at the checkout register. Those I don't worry about. And that does not mention the scientific usage too. I don't understand why any dork would want to point a laser beam at a plane. Nut cases.
Jared Maurtua 0
11K is way too small of a fine!!!
jhakunti 0
This is attempted murder, and interfering with flight crew. These people should be fined $250K, and given a decade in prison for every soul on board they risk by pointing lasers at aircraft. Pointing at stars is not more important than the lives of people in aircraft, and therefore the sales of these industrial use lasers should be limited to research and government facilities. Your average joe does not need a laser pointer of this size. Go online and look at stars. Or go to Yosemite and look at them. But for goodness sake, if you live on an approach path you don't need to be pointing lasers in the sky.

Too bad an airliner full of people will have to crash in order to instill change in this dangerous problem.
jhakunti 0
In about 2004-2005 I heard about a case where a pilot actually suffered eye damage, and lost his medical to this kind of bullshit. I wish all the worst karma to those who point lasers at aircraft.
alistairm 0
Airlines should install a system where they can pin-point the location of the offending laser pointer. Once locked onto the moron pointing the laser, have their own laser beam shoot down a red beam of death and vaporize the idiot into a pile of carbon dust! A little James Bond'ish, but would love to see it happen:)
av8rbama 0
I find it quite ironic that this very page has a banner ad for the Spyder II laser.
Toby Sharp 0
So hang the next person they catch doing it and see how many lasers their are after that
Tom Hawk 0
This is a fine example of terrorism!! The subject should be charged, fined $250,000.00 and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
The problem is locating the person(s) pointing the laser. You can make the fine a million dollars but locating the offend is the trick.


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