Tags: lasers | hit | jets | arrest | blind | pilots

Lasers Hit Jets in Flurry of Overnight Strikes; 1 Arrested in New York

Image: Lasers Hit Jets in Flurry of Overnight Strikes; 1 Arrested in New York
(CNN)

By    |   Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 04:22 PM

Lasers hitting jets is becoming a growing problem in the United States after 20 incidents were reported in just one overnight period this week, leading to one arrest.

Handheld lasers can be a danger to flying aircraft because they can temporarily blind the pilot. Authorities are currently investigating this week's incidents, which spanned from New York to California, and don't appear to be related, Reuters reported.

In New York early Wednesday evening, a Channel 4 news helicopter called LaGuardia Airport and reported that it had been hit by a laser beam while flying in Brooklyn. The New York Daily News reported that a CBS helicopter in the same area was also struck as it reported on a story about a stolen Greyhound bus.

With help from the pilots, police were able to pinpoint the location of the laser, and Ossieo Silva, 20, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, according to the Daily News.

In Dallas, three jet pilots reported laser attacks while flying at an altitude between 3,000 and 4,000 feet near Love Field, a Federal Aviation Administration official told Reuters.

No arrests have been made in Dallas, but other laser strikes were reported across the country this week, from Kentucky to New Mexico to Florida.

As of 2012, it is a federal crime to interfere with the operation of an aircraft. In the past decade, laser incidents have been steadily increasing, bringing with them the danger of pilots becoming flash-blinded and unable to safely operate their aircraft, ABC News reported. The green lasers are reportedly much more powerful than red.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration
, there have been 5,352 laser incidents reported in the United States this year. That's up from 2,837 in 2010.

In 2011, the FAA decided to impose civil penalties on anyone convicted of aiming a laser into the cockpit.

"Shining a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft is not a joke. These lasers can temporarily blind a pilot and make it impossible to safely land the aircraft, jeopardizing the safety of the passengers and people on the ground,” FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a press release at the time.

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Lasers hitting jets is becoming a growing problem in the United States after 20 incidents were reported in just one overnight period this week, leading to one arrest.
lasers, hit, jets, arrest, blind, pilots
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2015-22-12
Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 04:22 PM
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