(NEW YORK) — At least four pilots flying over New York and New Jersey reported spotting green lasers beamed towards their planes Tuesday night, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Just last week, 11 commercial pilots reported their cockpits illuminated by lasers in the same area — including one who later complained of blurry vision.
Because it can flash-blind pilots, potentially rendering them unable to land the plane, shining a laser at an aircraft’s cockpit is a federal crime, carrying a potential five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
Yet as lasers become more and more affordable, laser attacks are on the rise. Last year, the FAA reported 3,894 laser events nationwide — and pilots have already experienced more than 2,750 laser incidents this year.
Authorities are particularly concerned about green lasers, which are more powerful than typical red lasers and could severely impair pilots mid-flight.
Amid a spate of recent attacks, the feds are cracking down.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department revealed they have charged a 26-year-old California man in connection with a laser strike on a police helicopter in Bakersfield. According to court documents, the laser was key-activated, and allegedly capable of inflicting serious burns.
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Recent posts in National News