Laser Strikes Against Planes Hit Record High

The number of laser hits against aircraft hit another record last month, according to new data obtained by Gizmodo. And the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants the American people to hear the message that it’s not dangerous for people on the ground to shine lasers in transit airports, it’s illegal and can land people in jail and face stiff penalties.

The FAA received 1,297 reports of laser strikes in the US in February alone, an average of 44.7 per day. This is significantly higher than January, which saw an average of 36.4 per day. Pilots in 2023 were affected by 13,304 laser strikes in the US, the worst year on record.

There were 9,457 laser strikes reported in 2022, 9,723 in 2021, and 6,852 in 2020. To put all this into historical context, the FAA only recorded 1,489 laser strikes in 2009, but this number nearly doubled in 2010. to 2,836.

Laser strikes are dangerous because they can disorient pilots, sometimes even temporarily blinding them. When a laser is directed at an aircraft, the entire passenger compartment can be filled with light as it shines through the plane’s window glass, endangering the pilot, crew, and passengers.

But it’s not just commercial aircraft that are hit by lasers. A small plane pilot in Virginia, Matthew Mellon, told WCYB television about how he was blinded by a man on the ground with a laser pointer. at the beginning of this month.

“When you fly at night, your eyes adjust to the darkness you are flying. So, for a few seconds, I lost sight of the left side of the plane,” Mellon said.

Mellon was flying with his wife and children, all of whom were put in grave danger by some idiot on the ground for no good reason.

Shining lasers on airplanes is a federal crime, and anyone found guilty of engaging in laser interference faces a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison. As a recent example, a 41-year-old man in Washington was sentenced to eight months in prison for pointing a laser beam at a small two-seater plane.

“The pilot’s eyes were damaged by the laser beam, and he was unable to see his weapon cluster,” released a statement from the Department of Justice. he explained. “He was able to replace the tail light on the instrument panel which allowed him to land the plane safely. The pilot required medical attention for eye injuries.”

This month, a 53-year-old man in Tuscon, Arizona he was arrested for shining a laser pointer on an airplane, and a 29-year-old man near Buffalo Niagara International Airport in New York was arrested for doing so. same thing on a Delta flight attempting to land.

“The FAA is committed to making the world safer. Laser targeting in aircraft is a serious risk that puts everyone on board and on the ground at risk,” FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker said in an emailed statement.

Anyone who sees a laser beam is encouraged to report the incident to the FAA through his website.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *