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Old August 20th, 2009, 06:29 PM   #21
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the articles makes me very upset...i feel like i want to ban laser pointers from being sold or used...or impose a huge fine because this is almost a terrorist-like act...
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Old August 21st, 2009, 09:59 PM   #22
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Few times a week we have this problem at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. I've heard it live on an ATC stream that they were sending police teams to the runways etc.. But yeah it's a big and dangerous problem!
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Old February 11th, 2010, 08:10 AM   #23
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Czech association calls for law making it crime to use laser pointers to blind pilots
3 February 2010

PRAGUE (AP) - A Czech airline pilots group has called on Parliament to enact a law making it illegal to use laser pointers to blind pilots.

The Czech Airline Pilots Association says at least seven passenger planes were targeted by laser pointers last year at Prague's international airport as they were landing or taking off.

Pilots representative Karel Mundel said Wednesday in a statement that such attacks pose a serious security risk because it could cause flash blindness and threaten pilots' ability to control planes or seriously damage their eyes.

The pilots said Czech authorities should enact a law against laser misuse like other countries, including Britain, Germany and the U.S.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 08:54 PM   #24
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Pilots complain about laser pointers sold on NJ boardwalk
18 August 2010

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (AP) - Pilots have filed 10 complaints this summer about laser beams directed at their aircraft as they approached Atlantic City International Airport.

Police in nearby Ocean City say their boardwalk was identified as the location of seven incidents.

Laser pointers are sold on the boardwalk.

While it's legal to buy them, it is against the law to point them at aircraft because they can distract or temporarily blind pilots.

Ocean City Police Chief Chad Callahan has asked merchants not to sell high-power laser pointers.

Wes Kazmarck of the Ocean City Boardwalk Merchants Association says while merchants are disappointed, they understand and many stores have complied with the chief's request.

------

Information from: The Press of Atlantic City, http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com
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Old August 20th, 2010, 09:52 AM   #25
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Thanks for the heads up on the double post. Have amended to new content :

Laser aimed at pilots during landing
Second scare since weekend; bright light can damage vision, expert warns

The Ottawa Citizen
19 August 2010

A blinding laser was aimed at the pilots of an airliner about to land at Ottawa airport late Tuesday, the second such scare since the weekend.

The descending Air Canada Airbus A319 from Vancouver was 7,000 feet over west Ottawa about 11:30 p.m. when a green laser beam illuminated the flight deck for about 10 seconds, according to a preliminary report filed with Transport Canada.

The pilots landed the 60-ton, 124-seat jet without incident. Air Canada alerted Nav Canada, which controls the country's civilian airspace.

Early Saturday, meanwhile, a Sikorsky S76 helicopter belonging to the Ornge transport medicine service was targeted as it was on a flight to The Ottawa Hospital.

Six nautical miles from the Civic campus heliport, a green laser beam originating from Constance Bay was aimed into the flight deck for "a few minutes," according the flight crew's report to Transport Canada.

A similar incident involving another Ornge helicopter occurred in the pre-dawn of July 6. The crew reported being flashed while flying over the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. They believe the beam originated from St. Laurent Shopping Centre.

Because the attacks occur at night, pilots are at risk of being distracted or temporarily losing their night vision, which can be especially dangerous during descents, landings and take-offs.

"He's depending on his night vision to see obstructions, to see the runway or the helipad," said Bob MacKay, of Canadian Helicopters Limited, which provides flight services for the Ornge fleet.

"A bright flash of laser light can destroy his night vision and his ability to see the cockpit instruments and, depending on the severity of it, it can cause longer-term damage to the eye."

That was the case last September when an air ambulance pilot was hit with a laser beam while flying about 2,000 feet over the Gatineau Hills. His eye suffered serious damage, grounding him for several weeks.

Lasers range in size and strength from small pointers for meetings and lectures, to military grade and astronomy lasers.

Transport Canada civil aviation reports show a total of five laser attacks in Ottawa for 2008 and 2009 and three so far this year. Penalties can be stiff, with a maximum up to $100,000 fine under the federal Aeronautics Act and up to five years in prison.

In June, an Edmonton-area man was convicted of shining a laser at an Edmonton police helicopter a year ago today. Alvin Bautista, 39, told a court he was outside trying trying to fix his son's toy laser when he pointed it at a cluster of trees several times, turning it on and off, and shaking it. He said he pointed it upward once.

The police pilot testified he was "bathed in a green light" that affected his ability to fly the aircraft.

A judge ruled Bautista did not exercise due diligence while he fiddled with the device. He is to be sentenced in September and faces a $5,000 fine.
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Last edited by hkskyline; August 20th, 2010 at 11:28 AM. Reason: double post - corrected to new content
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Old August 20th, 2010, 11:03 AM   #26
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double post
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 06:45 AM   #27
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France arrests man for trying to dazzle pilots with laser

PARIS, Aug 31 (Reuters) - A man appeared in court on Tuesday accused of trying to dazzle pilots with a laser beam as they were landing at France's second-busiest airport Paris Orly, aviation authorities said.

"Several pilots complained and the man was arrested near the runway," a spokesman for the civil aviation authority said.

Airport security officials said three pilots, including crew of Air France and EasyJet flights, warned the control tower on Sunday, which alerted the police and the man was caught in the act.

A spokeswoman for Air France said its pilot was never in any difficulty but there had been a growing number of such incidents.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 05:44 AM   #28
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Aircraft flying at 20,000ft is target of laser pen attack
6 October 2010
The Herald

POLICE have launched an investigation after a laser pen was shone into the cockpit of a passenger jet flying at 20,000 feet over south west Scotland putting scores of lives at risk.

The pilot reported the incident, which he said had not affected his vision, to air traffic controllers at Prestwick in Ayrshire, who alerted police in Dumfries and Galloway.

Police have been concerned about an escalation of attacks across the country, which require darkness to have an impact, and can render pilots or drivers blinded for a short time.

The flight is understood to have been a Flybe service between Edinburgh and Birmingham which was travelling over Dumfries at around 10.30pm on September 24.

The Civil Aviation Authority said last night: “Some of these more powerful lasers are able to reach that kind of distance. It is very worrying. We have been concerned about it for two years now. They are becoming very affordable and more powerful.”

Aviation analyst Jim Ferguson said: “There would appear to be a number of different types and strengths of laser, some of which are understood to be banned from the UK.”

The CAA said in August there had also been 41 cases this year at Glasgow, one fewer than in 2008. One involved a Boeing 757 carrying 200 passengers as it prepared to land.

At Aberdeen Airport there have been four incidents, one more than last year, while another case was recorded at Prestwick. The CAA said there had been around 15 other incidents in Scotland this year, mainly against police helicopters.

The number of cases across the UK increased 25-fold to 737 last year compared to just 29 in 2007.

Dumfries and Galloway Police are “keeping an open mind” over any possible link between the latest incident and other local laser pen attacks. On Saturday, a motorist on the A75 on the outskirts of Dumfries had a laser light shone into his eyes from a bridge over the road.

The driver pulled into a lay-by to recover. Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in this area at around 10pm and saw anything suspicious.

And a 30-year-old taxi driver had to receive hospital treatment after a light was shone on him in Dumfries 10 days ago.

Police said the light had been pointed from a moving vehicle in front of the taxi. The driver has since had vision problems. Another motorist was also dazzled in a separate incident.

A police spokesman said: “Nobody was injured. It didn’t hit eyes or anything like that. But, of course, using these pens in this way is dangerous.

“We are keeping an open mind over a link to other incidents in Dumfries. It could be a copycat.”

Last month, an 18-year-old man was charged after a police helicopter was hit by a beam during the Pope’s visit to Glasgow.

And on September 16, migrant worker Radu Moldovan, 28, from Romania, was jailed for four months after he kept the beam of a £4 laser pen focused on the cockpit of a jet trying to land at RAF Leuchars in Fife, distracting the pilot and navigator. Cupar Sheriff Court heard only the skill of the pilot prevented a crash.

Flybe refused to comment on the incident last night. It said: “If and when Flybe property or staff was ever impacted by suspected criminal action of any sort, the airline would immediately report such incident to the relevant authority for investigation. Details of any such incident would not be discussed with, or disclosed to, any third party.”
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 05:44 AM   #29
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Pilot is affected by laser beam
Authorities issue warning about use

24 September 2010
The Boston Globe

WARWICK, R.I. - Federal and local authorities are vowing to crack down on people who shine laser pointers at aircraft after a significant increase this year in the number of such cases, including one that left a pilot temporarily blinded last week as he landed a passenger plane here.

"It's no joke, no harmless prank; it endangers lives," Peter F. Neronha, US attorney for Rhode Island, said during a press conference yesterday morning at T.F. Green Airport to discuss the case and the surge in incidents in New England and around the country.

In the latest local case, Joseph Aquino, a 31-year-old Warwick man, allegedly pointed his high- powered laser pointer at the cockpit of a Continental Airlines passenger airplane landing at T.F. Green Airport, briefly blinding the pilot. The plane landed safely.

According to FBI statistics, about 1,000 incidents were reported nationwide in 2008; from January through August of this year, 1,700 incidents were reported.

In Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, there have been 66 incidents from January 2009 through last month.

"We've been responding to these on a regular basis," said Neronha. Locating suspects is difficult, he said, and pinpointing the origin of the flash requires quick response. He asked for the public's help in locating people suspected of committing the crime.

A bill passed in the US House and under consideration in the Senate would stiffen penalties for shining a laser at aircraft.

In another local case, a Northeastern University student was arrested in June after he allegedly pointed a laser at a State Police helicopter. Christopher Phaneuf, 20, was attending a backyard barbecue near Lawrence Municipal Airport when he allegedly shone the laser on the helicopter, which is based at that airport.

In 2007, a Medford man was charged after allegedly shining a laser into a State Police helicopter that was escorting a liquefied natural gas tanker into Boston Harbor. In 2008, someone shone a laser at a blimp about a quarter- mile west of Fenway Park during an American League Championship series game on Oct. 13, 2008, and this past March, someone beamed a laser at an American Airlines jet that was taxiing after landing at Logan Airport.

"The seriousness of these incidents cannot be overstated," said Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Boston. "Most often lasers are pointed at aircraft during critical phases of flight while they are at low altitude or preparing to land or take off. Any brief distraction in the cockpit during this time can be catastrophic."

Authorities say the rise in the number of cases may be connected to the availability of cheap, high-powered laser pointers, intended primarily as an astronomy tool for pointing at stars and planets. Some of the devices cost as little as $20 to $30 and are capable of beaming up to 20,000 feet.

As for why anyone would shine a laser on an aircraft, Neronha said: "We all know in our lives that people do really stupid things. That's just the reality of a culture in which we live."

Aquino was allegedly standing on the shore of Oakland Beach about 10 p.m. on Sept. 15, about 4 miles from the airport, when he pointed his green-light laser pointer at a Continental airplane arriving from Newark. The beach is in line with the airport's final approach path.

Warwick police were able to find Aquino because he allegedly had been flashing his laser at a nearby boat earlier. The boat operator alerted police to that incident at about the same time the Continental pilot reported the incident to the FAA.

According to police, Aquino admitted to shining the laser at the plane and said that it was "a stupid thing to do." Authorities said they found the device, about the size of a felt marker, on him.

Aquino was charged Wednesday in federal court in Providence with interfering with an aircraft with reckless disregard for safety and attempting to interfere with an aircraft with reckless disregard for safety. On each count he faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release.

Thomas Walsh, a Delta Airlines pilot and a representative of the International Pilots Association, said a pilot does not have to look in the direction of a laser to be temporarily blinded; the light can be scattered throughout the cockpit by the window.

"Temporary blindness can last for a second or two to minutes," he said.

He said the threat from lasers to pilots dates back to the early 1990s, but no cases of accidents or crashes caused by laser flashes have been reported, he said.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #30
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Blinded by the light: Ohio pilot says someone flashed a laser at his plane
25 September 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A pilot flying into an airport outside Columbus says he was temporarily blinded by a laser aimed into the cockpit of his small plane.

Thirty-five-year-old Lenny Mack of Columbus says he was about 700 to 800 feet from the ground -- and less than a mile from Bolton Field airport -- when he saw someone aiming a laser at his Piper Cherokee plane on Thursday.

The Columbus Dispatch says Mack landed safely and filed a report with local police. It wasn't clear who flashed the laser at Mack's plane.

Aiming a laser light at a plane is a felony. Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory says there were 1,527 incidents in the U.S. last year.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #31
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Man jailed for shining laser at Luton Airport
11 October 2010
Luton & Dunstable Express

A man has been jailed for four months after he shone a laser 'pointer' at an aircraft causing the pilot and co-pilot to duck down as the green light shone in their eyes.

Both men in the cockpit of the Boeing 737 with 129 passengers on board were left 'dazzled' by the light shone by Christian Webb, 25, to a point where they could not see out of the window.

Webb also shone the light at the air traffic control tower at Luton Airport and concerned staff inside immediately alerted police.

Officers went to a nearby car park and there found Webb sitting behind the wheel of his van waiting for his father.

Beverley Cripps prosecuting at Luton Crown Court on Friday told how the young roofer handed over a small laser 'pointer' which was found to produce a red beam of light.

But when the vehicle was searched a larger laser pen was discovered which emitted a powerful green beam of light.

Webb of Gleneagles Close, Watford, pleaded guilty to recklessly and negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft and it's passengers.

The court heard it was just after 7pm on August 9 when the Ryan Air flight plane flew in from Kerry.

After landing it began to taxi from the runway to it's stand at the airport which meant crossing over a bridge.

Miss Cripps said staff in the control tower became aware of a 'harsh green light' being pointed at the building.

At the same time the pilot of the plane in which the defendant's father was a passenger reported a light being shone at the cockpit.

There was anger from members of his family in the public gallery when Judge Richard Foster jailed him for four months.

The judge told him: "This was a thoroughly stupid and dangerous thing to do."
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Old January 24th, 2011, 10:03 AM   #32
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High-Powered Laser Pointers Pose Risk to Pilots
22 January 2011
The New York Times

The laser guru, as he is known among colleagues, tinkers with the tools of the trade in the basement of his suburban Philadelphia home. Of the pile of parts on which he works, Samuel Goldwasser, 56, says, ''You don't ask how sausage is made.''

Mr. Goldwasser, the author of the online guide called Sam's Laser FAQ, knows so much about laser pointers -- those handy devices used for making presentations, star gazing or even popping balloons as a party trick -- that he could deliver a presentation on them without the aid of a laser pointer. So he was hardly surprised this week with the release of a report by the Federal Aviation Administration on a drastic increase in instances of lasers aimed at aircraft.

The sudden bright light in a darkened cockpit can cause temporary blindness or distract pilots during critical low-altitude flight.

''It's a Pandora's box, and we've been lucky that there haven't been major incidents,'' said Mr. Goldwasser, a retired professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania and now a consultant on lasers.

The F.A.A. said there were 2,836 instances of lasers aimed at airplanes in 2010, a ninefold increase over the past five years. Saying the agency could not sit around and wait for an airplane to crash, the F.A.A.'s administrator said Friday that a ban on lasers or other regulations might be needed if a public education campaign is not effective.

''We don't want to see this develop where we're investigating an accident,'' said the administrator, Randy Babbitt.

Light from lasers radiates endlessly, and it diffuses with distance. A beam that is 1/25th of an inch wide at its origin can be 2 to 3 feet wide by the time it reaches an airliner approaching or departing an airport. Helicopters and general aviation airplanes fly slower and lower than airliners and are included in the tally of lasers pointed at aircraft.

New technology that makes powerful lasers more affordable is contributing to the rash of instances in the United States and other countries, experts say, the most recent being an event on a charter plane returning the Seahawks football team to Seattle on Monday.

Mr. Goldwasser said poor regulation contributed to the problem. The Food and Drug Administration regulates laser devices, but he said the agency was not effectively monitoring the products being sold to consumers through online laser stores.

''Any Tom, Dick and Harry can go to these Web sites and buy an illegal pointer,'' Mr. Goldwasser said.

The F.D.A. did not respond to phone calls and e-mails Friday.

Mr. Goldwasser said one online retailer recently sent him a 100-milliwatt pointer, 20 times as powerful than what the law allows and without the required safety devices. Patrick Murphy, executive director of the international laser display association, said he had received a high-powered pointer from the same retailer.

''It would be nice if they didn't sell this laser, but they feel competitively if they don't sell it, someone else will,'' Mr. Murphy said.

Laser pointers are supposed to bear labels advising users not to aim them at eyes or skin. They are limited to five milliwatts, which Mr. Goldwasser estimates as equal in its effect on the eye as several times the illumination of the noonday sun -- painful, but not likely to be harmful in the long term.

On his Web site, LaserPointerSafety.com, Mr. Murphy collects information about the dozens of people around the world who have been charged with shining lasers at airplanes.

Mr. Murphy said several groups should be addressing the issue.

''If a plane were to go down, there would be an overreaction,'' he said of any subsequent push to ban lasers. ''There would be some justification to that, but the true answer is more complex. Everybody who touches this issue -- manufacturers, regulators, pilots, airlines, laser enthusiasts -- has a role to play.''
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Old January 26th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #33
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Legislator angry about pointing lasers at planes
26 January 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois legislator who is also a pilot says the Illinois General Assembly should create a state criminal charge to lodge against people who aim laser pointers at aircraft.

Republican State Rep. Dave Winters, who is from the Winnebago County town of Shirland, tells the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald there isn't enough protection against an offense that can temporarily blind pilots on approach or takeoff and could possibly cause a crash.

The lasers commonly used are green and have a range of several miles.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the number of such incidents more than doubled last year. It also says O'Hare International Airport reported the second-most incidents in the country last year. O'Hare reported 98 incidents last year, out of 2,836 total in the U.S.

------

Information from: Daily Herald, http://www.dailyherald.com
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Old January 31st, 2011, 08:32 AM   #34
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Lasers Pose Serious Safety Threat
24 January 2011
Air Safety Week
Vol. 25; Issue 4

The FAA says in 2010 nationwide reports of lasers pointed at airplanes almost doubled from the previous year to more than 2,800, the highest number of laser events recorded since the FAA began keeping track in 2005.

Los Angeles International recorded the highest number of laser events with 102 reports, and the greater Los Angeles area tallied nearly twice that number, with 201 reports. Chicago O'Hare International was a close second, with 98 reports. Phoenix Sky Harbor International and Mineta San Jose International tied for the third highest number of laser events for the year with 80 each.

Nationwide, laser event reports have steadily increased since the FAA created a formal reporting system to collect information from pilots. Reports rose from nearly 300 in 2005 to 1,527 in 2009 and 2,836 in 2010.

"The FAA is actively warning people not to point high-powered lasers at aircraft because they can damage a pilot's eyes or cause temporary blindness," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "We continue to ask pilots to immediately report laser events to air traffic controllers so we can contact local law enforcement officials."

Some cities and states have laws making it illegal to shine lasers at aircraft and, in many cases, people can face federal charges.

The increase in laser incidents is likely due to a number of factors, including the ready availability of inexpensive laser devices; higher power levels that enable lasers to hit aircraft at higher altitudes; increased pilot reporting of laser strikes; and the introduction of green lasers, which are more easily seen than red lasers.

Pilots have reported blurred vision and damaged retinas after laser beams were aimed at them in flight. In a recent incident, two U.S. Coast Guard helicopters were forced to make precautionary landings at LAX in August after being flashed with laser beams. Coast Guard officials said both crews were grounded until doctors cleared them to fly again.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 02:28 PM   #35
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14-year-old boy charged with pointing lasers at jetliner headed to LAX, police helicopter
18 February 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A 14-year-old boy has been charged with pointing a green laser at a jetliner headed to Los Angeles International Airport and at a police helicopter.

District attorney's spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said Thursday that the boy, whose name has not been released, faces two felony counts. The Daily Breeze of Torrance says he is scheduled to be arraigned April 8.

Gibbons said the pilot of a Southwest Airlines flight from Salt Lake City reported being flashed by the laser about seven miles from the airport on Feb 8. An LAPD helicopter took to the sky to investigate the complaint, and the helicopter pilot also reported seeing the laser beam.

The Federal Aviation Administration says lasers can blind or distract pilots and damage eyesight.

------

Information from: Daily Breeze, http://www.dailybreeze.com
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Old March 1st, 2011, 03:52 PM   #36
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House Oks Measure Criminalizing Use Of Lasers To Distract Pilots
1 March 2011

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--House lawmakers voted unanimously to pass legislation making it a federal crime to point a laser at an aircraft or in its flight path.

In a voice vote, lawmakers agreed to criminalize the practice, with violators facing up to five years in prison.

The Senate passed a similar measure as part of a wider bill regarding federal regulation of the aviation industry last month. In order to be signed into law, the Senate would have to take up the House bill on a stand-alone basis.

The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Daniel Lungren (R., Calif.), is designed to crack down on a practice that pilots say threatens to impede their vision, particularly during takeoffs and landings.

No aircraft crashes have been reported due to people pointing lasers from the ground. But federal aviation regulators reported earlier this year that laser incidents involving all types of planes in the U.S. doubled, to 2,800 last year from the previous year.

The largest U.S. pilots union has pushed for legislation to criminalize the practice.
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