Entries in Cockpits (2)


People Pointing Lasers at Planes Will be Subject to Federal Penalties

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- People who unwisely point lasers in the sky could be sent up the river for a long time.

Following the Senate's lead, the House on Monday approved the Securing Cockpits Against Laser Pointers Act, which could mean a maximum penalty of five years in prison if anyone is caught pointing a laser at a plane.

Handheld lasers that shine into cockpits can damage the retinas of pilots and cause them to lose control of the plane.  In a number of instances, pilots have had to be relieved of duty because of vision loss.

The problem is also growing rapidly.  The Federal Aviation Administration says the number of cases of planes and helicopter getting "lasered" nearly doubled from 1,500 in 2009 to over 2,800 in 2010.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill once both the House and Senate version are rolled into one measure.

Meanwhile, the Airline Pilots Association International is calling for limiting the sale of high-powered portable lasers and expanding airports' laser-free zones.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Blinded by the Light: FAA Warns Pilots of Laser Dangers

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Federal Aviation Administration officials are investigating a rash of incidents where lasers have been aimed at airline cockpits, possibly jeopardizing air travel safety.

About a dozen pilots filed reports last week saying someone aimed green laser lights at their cockpits while they tried to land at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

"The Federal Aviation Administration takes laser incidents very seriously because of the potential safety hazards they pose," Jim Peters, an FAA Spokesman, said in a statement to ABC News New York affiliate WABC.

At Newark Liberty Airport, there have been 17 reported laser incidents involving planes landing from the north within the past week, WABC reported.

Some pilots have reported blurred vision and damage to the retina.  The powerful laser beam can hit a target miles away and can also burn though thick plastic.

Shining a laser at an airplane is a violation of federal law.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio