Skip to comments.Lasers From Ground Distract Two Pilots Landing At LaGuardia
Posted on 10/18/2013 11:18:10 PM PDT by nickcarraway
The last thing a pilot needs is a distraction during those critical moments right before landing a plane. But lately, it's been happening with an alarming frequency.
At 7:35 p.m. Tuesday, a Shuttle America pilot headed toward LaGuardia said a green laser lit up the cockpit when he was about six miles from the runway.
The FBI says the light seemed to come from near the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx.
Then, about three hours later, the pilot of a private plane reported a similar incident, with the light shining from Broadway and Steinway Street in Queens.
The FBI says there has been a 17 percent increase in laser attacks since last year.
"There's always been a continuous issue with it, but lately we've seen it happen more and more," says Richard Frankel of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. "Two incidents very close together, both targeting pilots flying into LaGuardia, is concerning to us."
"When these things start increasing in numbers and prevalence and locations, the law of averages will dictate that they're going to increase the risk factors while we're flying those airplanes," says Sean Cassidy, Vice President and National Safety Coordinator of the Air Line Pilots Association International.
Fortunately, the pilots of both planes targeted on Tuesday were able to land safely. But in August another pilot's retina was burned by a laser light pointed at the cockpit.
This is not something that passengers arriving in New York Thursday night wanted to hear.
"It's scary," said one. "I'm glad that I landed and that I'm safe on the ground. I'll be a little more scared coming in next time."
"I fly for business and pleasure," said another. "I'm not going to stop flying because some people are idiots."
The FBI is asking for the public's help in finding the people who are putting flights at risk in this area. Those with information are being asked to call 212-384-1000.
This has been happening a lot lately.
Now, a couple possibilities exist.
One, jihad is looking to see what they can mess up.
Two, idiot kids being abysmally stupid.
Three, bar/nightclub culture! I know, “what the heck do you mean?!”
Bear with me, at certain nightclub establishments, they will shine a laser on certain patrons whom are deemed “hotties”.
They should keep an eye on any gay bars in the flight path.
Especially if it is a green laser as that is reportedly what they use.
Green laser light is the hallmark of Space Aliens.
Lock and load!
Turkish star trek... Tourist Omar!
They used to teach this at pilot school.
Staring at laser light is like staring at cleavage. It's too risky. You glance, get a sense of it, and look away. And you and your co-pilot never glance at it at the same time.
How is this laser set up to hit the cockpit of a moving target at six miles?
I don’t doubt that lasers can do that when aimed at a windscreen, but I’m surprised such a feet can be accomplished at distances greater than 800 yards from the end of the runway.
It has never happened to me while I've been working an active law enforcement mission, either. It always happens when I'm on approach to an airport.
The 'usual suspects' fall into two categories. Teenage boys who bought a new toy, and disgruntled neighbors of the airport. A couple years ago there was a laser incident in Seattle, but the guy made the mistake of pointing the laser at a WSP aircraft. The WSP crew located the house from which the laser was being fired and local PD drove over and picked the guy up. He said he was flashing it around at a party, but the video evidence showed something different.
Flashed across the cockpit makes a bit more sense.
It would seem like a fairly simple matter to devise a camera that would point itself back at a laser and snap a picture a half second later. Mount a chin pod on random airliners and start catching these SOBs in the act. A nice long stretch in Federal prison would be the very thing to discourage the others.
After burning their sight out with a laser, of course.
We used to call them, “SHRIKE”.
I used to work with a sysadmin/hardcore geek type who described his favorite sign in the MIT LASER research lab:
CAUTION: Do Not Look Directly Into LASER With Remaining Eye
CAUTION: ARGON. be back in 5 minutes.
I have a question.
How does one standing on the ground beam a laser into the cockpit of a flying plane? Is the plane flying upside down ?
The nose of the aircraft does not block the view forward and down.
Any spot on the ground that they can see from inside the cockpit can also beam back at them.
Why don’t they just mirror the windshield?
Is an idea, but the two way mirror would still let in the laser light.
Reduced for certain, but it would still be enough to hurt and ‘dazzle’ the pilots vision.
It probably could be tuned for specific laser frequencies, but there are a wide variance in laser diode frequencies even within the same “color”.