FBI issues warning about laser pointers

laser pointer
Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a federal crime. Credit: Wikipedia/Netweb

Agents with the FBI’s Philadelphia Division issued a warning yesterday about the dangers of laser pointers – and the possible penalties those who misuse them can face.

According to investigators, every summer brings a spike in reported incidents involving laser pointers being shone at aircraft.

The release noted the FAA last year received reports of 3,482 such incidents, an average of 9.5 “laser strikes” every night.

“They’re just a few bucks apiece, but their misuse can be costly,” the release stated.

The FBI went on to remind the public that aiming a laser beam at an aircraft is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison and $11,000 in fines per incident.

“Even cheap hand-held lasers can have a range of two miles, strong enough to target a variety of aircraft,” the release read.

“What looks like a dot of light from the ground spreads out as it travels. By the time it reaches a plane or helicopter, it can illuminate an entire cockpit, disorienting or temporarily blinding a pilot and putting lives at risk.”

Investigators said green laser beams are more powerful than red ones, but both can cause retina damage to aircraft crews.

The FBI also released a public service announcement on the dangers of laser pointer misuse:

Philadelphia man Daniel Dangler was in April sentenced to three months in jail followed by seven months of house arrest after pleading guilty to aiming a laser pointer at a television news helicopter last July.

Dangler also faces up to $11,000 in fines in connection with a pending FAA civil case brought against him.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Breaking: Local

Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Tsarnaev defense lawyers in court Wednesday, seek family…

Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are due in court Wednesday to ask a judge to order prosecutors to hand over more information on the defendant's family.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

The Word

Kelly Osbourne and Paris Hilton fight over a…

Paris Hilton and Kelly Osbourne, both members of famous families and natives of the reality boom of the early aughts, should be great friends. And yet.

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.