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
Local

School zones across city to get speed cameras

New Yorkers who speed through a school zone may be more likely to get a ticket in the coming weeks, whether or not a uniformed…

Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

Gossip

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth apparently love each…

Miley Cyrus may have broken off her engagement to Liam Hemsworth almost a year ago, but that doesn't mean she doesn't still have feelings for…

The Word

The Word: Charlize Theron isn't perfect, so stop…

We've been thinking a lot about famous women's bodies this week, obviously, so here's some food for thought to go with all that virtual ogling.…

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…