Skip to comments.Laser reportedly hits incoming plane in Myrtle Beach; no landing problems reported
Posted on 05/27/2012 8:34:01 PM PDT by PilotDave
An inbound airplanes windshield was hit with a laser beam fired from east of the runway at Myrtle Beach International Airport about 10 p.m. Sunday, but no landing problems were reported.
Myrtle Beach Police Lt. Doug Furlong said the laser strike was reported, but investigations found nothing to follow up on.
Im sure it did happen, though, he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at myrtlebeachonline.com ...
Then I was listening to the radio comm on liveatc.net
That's when I heard them report getting hit with a green laser while on approach to runway 36 at Myrtle Beach.
I reported it to the paper. Pilots have been blinded by these things.
I bought one of those cheap red laser pointers for my grandson and was surprised how far they would carry at night.
I could shine my mailbox which is a hundred yards away and the beam was still nearly as tiny as it started. This one was powered by 3 1.5 volt button cells which were included and the whole thing only cost a dollar.
I decided it would be too dangerous for him at his age.
Shining one at airplanes at night is a felony.
Send the perp to GITMO after finding him guilty of about 100 counts of attempted murder.
“Pilots have been blinded by these things.”
No they haven’t, that’s a bunch of crap... Nor will there be. The eye will react to a visible light laser of the power of these devices fast enough to protect the eye. At close range with a target that is nor moving you may get a flash of light that would produce temporary blindness only, similar to a flashbulb or flash tube.
The devices we are talking about are in the MW range, usually under 5. The power density decreases with the square of the increase in size of the beam. The damage done to the retina is proportional to the average power (heat) absorbed.
If it was possible, our own military could use it against incoming planes. It doesn’t work... Assuming one developed the servo system to keep the beam trained on the cockpit window (which would be bulky and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars) and you used a higher power laser - then maybe...
BTW... the reason ducks are hunted with a shotgun is that you can’t hit them with a 22. A laser is like a 22. One pencil lead diameter beam, trying to focus on an eyeball traveling at 150 MPH at 1000 feet. Not going to happen. The eye will absorb more energy from your cell phone than you could possibly transfer to it from a MW laser at 1000 feet.
Flash blindness ruins dark adaptation for at least several minutes. That can be a significant issue for a pilot.
The laser illuminates the entire cockpit. It doesn’t need to directly enter the eye to ruin dark adaptation.
There are 1,000 MW green laser pointers on the market.
Just google “wicked lasers”.
Exactly. No need to to hit the pilot directly in the eyes. The beam is too wide for that. It ruins the pilot’s night vision and blinds them in general. It doesn’t burn out their eyes. It’s like shining a bright flashlight in the cockpit suddenly. Or firing a camera flash.
There are vids on youtube of the effect on the cockpit.
“a bunch of crap”
?Really? The FBI disagrees.
“temporary blindness only”
This particular case the airliner was on short final, and reported getting hit in the eyes every half a second. You don’t see a problem or potential hazard there?
Maybe you’d feel different if it were your wife and daughter on the plane. But since it was mine, no big deal?
Google is your friend, From another article in USA today.
“More powerful devices are increasingly available and can cause far more problems, says Gus Anibarro, education director at the Laser Institute of America, which promotes laser safety. A laser that is hundreds of times more powerful than an approved laser pointer was introduced for sale last year, and Anibarro fears that could lead to more eye injuries.
A 15-year-old boy recently burned his retina and impaired his vision from a green laser he had bought because it could pop balloons and burn paper, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. He had pointed the laser into a mirror, and the beam reflected into his eyes.
Two pilots for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office in Florida were temporarily grounded for several days after their helicopter was illuminated by a green laser early New Year’s Day as it flew over Naples, Fla. Two teenagers were arrested and charged in the incident.”
As far as shooting ducks with rifles. It’s easy. The reason we use shotguns is because they are so limited in range. Gives the ducks a sporting chance.
The issue with the green laser pointers is that the quality control is spotty. Frequently they output far greater power than is allowed for the stated class. Moreover, many of the cheaper ones do not have an IR filter in the optic train so you get not only to much power but you get lots of nasty IR that does lots of damage.
The average owner probably shouldn’t have one since they do not respect the danger that these lasers pose. Not unlike having someone own a gun who has no safety training
You are soooo wrong. Nice try though
“If it was possible, our own military could use it against incoming planes”
I don’t think babygene knows how to google. Here’s just one of thousands of articles on laser weapons. In this case the navy shot down a drone.
I think they used a bit more than just a common laser pointer.
I’m the laser expert, you guys are not... Obviously
I’ve been working with and building lasers for over 30 years.
Why do you suppose our military aircraft has not been effected by these things in Iran and Afghanistan?
It is true that you can buy a 3000 MW laser (red, green or blue)on eBay for $40, that can run from a “d” cell. It’s even legal to buy them. Even if they wanted to outlaw them, a Blur ray CD player contains one and there have been millions of them manufactured and distributed.
The fact is that even though they are dangerous, some (the IR variety) are very dangerous close up. they are of little use for a terrorist weapon.
If you want to believe the hype in the media, that’s quite OK with me.
No it does not. Shine a laser (Green or Red) through a pane of glass in your house, when and if it lights up the entire house call me. It "aint gonna" happen.
I did not advocate at all that they should be outlawed.
Eye damage can be done by the green laser easier than a nice little red one. The fact that the eye is dark adapted AND that the macula is peaked in the green (587 nm) contributes greatly. The IR output of most green lasers is substantial but is usually absorbed but the plastic of the planes windshield. And a side point...just because you work with and build lasers does not make you an expert on eye damage. Most of our pilots for the military fly with eye protection in place which is why they have not been bothered. I know it is hard to be an expert and not have everything you think be true. You will survive
Ah, that all depends on what the target's trajectory is relative to your line of sight. If they are coincident, sighting is as accurate as for a motionless object. And furthermore, the radiation's damage is not based on total emission (microwave vs laser) as you state; it is energy density = milliwatts per square millimetre, and time of impingement that counts. The effectveness is also dependent because of the beam coherence (phase), I suppose.
Working with a Raman spectrophotometer whose exciting line was the green line delivered by an argon laser, the beam was capable of 300 mw and was very narrow. I could and did put a hole into the plastic of my ball-point pen with that beam. Its damaging power was vastly different -- smokin' hot -- than the radiated power density of a cell phone.
Better check your theory as relating to basic classical physics and see if wour suppositions hold up in this situation. I think not.
If a laser (or shoulder-fired missile aimed thereby?) is fired from the end of the runway on a landing aircraft using optical line-of-sight, seems as if it would be hard to miss. Dazzle or temporarily blind one of the drivers with a laser beam? Maybe. Bring the airframe down? No, not yet, at least.
Believe me, when a laser damages your eye, you feel it!
(As an aside, if you want to have a lot of fun with your cat, get it to chase the laser dot as it moves on the floor or wall. They find it irrisistibly fascinating. Just make sure the beam does not enter its eye --- that the animal is always moving across or away from you!!!)
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