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Crime Government Shark The Courts Transportation United States News

FBI: $10,000 Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At an Aircraft 445

Posted by timothy
from the issue-sunglasses dept.
coondoggie writes "Here's a good idea: The FBI has launched a targeted, 60-day program that will offer up to a $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft. The FBI said the laser-pointing scourge continues to grow at an alarming rate. Since the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration began tracking laser strikes in 2005, there has been ridiculous 1,000% increase in the number of laser pointing/aircraft incidents. Last year, 3,960 laser strikes against aircraft were reported — an average of almost 11 incidents per day."
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FBI: $10,000 Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At an Aircraft

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  • by crmanriq (63162) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @02:52PM (#46220041)

    Okay, so an el-cheapo red laser pointer at a range of 500 ft (Aircraft on approach).

    Daylight - Can the pilot even see it?

    Night time. At 500 feet, is it even as bright as his instrument lights? Between dust and moisture vapor is the beam even still anywhere close to focused?

    Yeah, I know people can go and by multi-watt green lasers that can pop balloons from 100 yards. But to say that an el-cheapo red light wielded with harmless intent should be subject to the same penalties as a multi-watt laser wielded with intent to disrupt/harm seems to be going the whole zero-tolerance BS route.

    I'm curious. Has anyone ever actually caused harm in US airspace with a laser pointer yet? Or are we creating a crime around something that has never caused harm?

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gweihir (88907) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:03PM (#46220195)

    Cretins are pointing these things at planes that are in the final stage of landing. And yes, at night these are enough to momentarily blind the pilot. Add a gust of wind or some other problem and you have a nice mass-murder.

"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all." -- Nathaniel Branden