Warnings issued for laser strikes in cockpits
February 12, 2014 By The Associated Press
Feb. 12, 2014, Los Angeles, Ca. - Airline pilots and federal officials launched a campaign Monday to warn about the dangers of people pointing lasers into cockpits. They're promising prosecution for those who are caught, and a reward for those who turn them in.
While the powerful beams of light do not harm the aircraft, they can
temporarily blind pilots, some of whom had to hand over control to a
The number of reported
incidents nationwide increased from about 2,800 in 2010 to nearly 4,000
last year, according to data collected by the Federal Aviation
Administration. The FAA attributed the increase to more reporting by
pilots as well as the availability of stronger lasers that can reach
Portland, Ore., had the
most reported instances, with 139. The rest of the top 10: Houston;
Phoenix; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Los Angeles; Las Vegas; Chicago; New
York; Honolulu; and Miami.
No laser incident has resulted
in a crash, but officials emphasized Monday that the threat is real.
The FBI plans to offer a $10,000 reward for information that leads to a
"We applaud the FBI for
recognizing how serious this situation is," said Capt. Sean Cassidy,
first vice-president of the Airline Pilots Association.
The FAA said that over the past two years, it has investigated 152 laser incidents, resulting in 96 "enforcement actions."