Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

$10k Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At Planes Goes Nationwide

Comments Filter:
  • Profit! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Darth Muffin (781947) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @02:11PM (#47166125) Homepage
    1) Aim laser pointer at my own plane, parked in a hangar. 2) Turn myself in for "intentionally aiming a laser at an aircraft" 3) Profit!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      1) Aim laser pointer at my own plane, parked in a hangar.
      2) Turn myself in for "intentionally aiming a laser at an aircraft"
      3) Profit!

      4) Serve up to 5 years in prison and pay a fire of up to $250,000
      5) Be unemployable with a prison record.

      Brilliant plan there, sport. Go for it.

    • Re:Profit! (Score:4, Funny)

      by durrr (1316311) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @02:22PM (#47166221)

      Pay homeless people $100 to point lasers at airplanes while recording them.

  • huh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @02:22PM (#47166219)

    You'd think they'd have just put polarized glass in the cockpit by now if it were that big of a deal. Oh wait... that's right, it's not that big of a deal.

    Why do we continue to allow things like this to get blown so far out of proportion that we end up sending 16yr olds to prison for something that never really had a chance to do harm to anyone in the first place? A landing aircraft is moving faster than freeway traffic at it's slowest. Without computer control and actuators there is no way a person could, by hand, hold a laser on a cockpit window for more than a tenth of a second. If a pilot is unable to land a plane after a flash of light that brief, we'd better start making lightening illegal because it's a hell of a lot brighter, and more common than a laser strike.

    • Re:huh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @02:30PM (#47166295)
      Fear mongering does not need to be rational, this is citizen training so that they hear and see how rewarding it can be to turn in people for cash.
    • Re:huh (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @02:30PM (#47166303)

      Polarized glass will do nothing. The issue with the laser is that, by time it reaches the plane, it's spread a fair amount. When it hits the glass of the cockpit, which has various minuscule scratches and dirt and whatnot, it gets lit up like a Christmas tree. Polarized glass will suffer the same fate. It's the dirt and imperfections that blind the pilot.

      • Re:huh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dinfinity (2300094) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @02:47PM (#47166429)

        QFT, last year I sat in the cockpit during an evening landing in Egypt (Sharm-el-sheik) and where I had previously dismissed the whole pointing lasers thing, that landing quickly brought me around. Granted, pilots generally land on the instruments anyway, but looking out the windows was certainly not an option anymore because of the effect the laser pointers had on the canopy.

        One of the things I had always wondered (and asked the pilots) was 'Who would do such a thing? What do they gain from it?' until we were walking around in the (touristic) city centre at night. Tons of shops that sold massively overpowered laser pointers and more importantly: lots of small kids waving those things around.

        • Re:huh (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @03:27PM (#47166705)

          Because in Egypt the military was using aircraft and snipers to shoot protesters. So it's common there now to "lase" aircraft to point them out to other people so they know to take cover.

          http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeat... [bbci.co.uk]
          http://static2.businessinsider... [businessinsider.com]
          http://s3files.core77.com/blog... [core77.com]
          http://media3.s-nbcnews.com/j/... [s-nbcnews.com]

          Notice there are hundreds of lasers on these things... yet there's a a surprising lack of blind pilots or aircraft crashing into crowds.

          Yes, it's technically possible this could hard the pilot. But practically? Not very likely. These pilots circled the crowds for hours every night for months with hundreds of lasers trained on them the entire time without incident.

          • 1. Sharm-el-sheik isn't really the center of protests (certainly not when I was there). I'm going to have to doubt your assertion "it's common there now".
            2. Helicopters have this unique feature of being able to hover in the air and move in all directions at very low speeds. Landing airplanes don't have that luxury.
            3. I'm pretty sure the instruments in a military chopper are a lot more capable to deal with loss of visual capabilities than civilian aircraft. Infra-red vision may well have been available to th

          • by jklovanc (1603149)

            Did you even notice that most of these laser were pointed at the biggest part of the aircraft and not the cockpit? The pilots are also probably using very expensive visors and cameras to see where they are going and not actually looking out the window. You are comparing military aircraft to civilian aircraft. Not a valid comparison.

            But practically? Not very likely

            It has happened [dailymail.co.uk]

        • I feel sorry for these kids prematurely losing their vision at such a young age. It's just a matter of time.

          • Go to Cairo, breath the leaded-gas fume encrusted air, fight off the wandering dogs, dodge traffic, learn that their more important industry is tourism of all things and that it's on shaky grounds with the country undergoing political turmoil, that their whole economy is tanking, that the nation's credit rating is falling, and then reflect on the need to keep laser pointers out of the hands of children.

            I mean, I get the sentiment. That some of these kids are going to look into the things and have their visi

        • Just remove the windows from all planes, and install body scanners everywhere within a hundred miles of any route.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          The blast of light can prevent seeing the instruments, or anything else. Just seeing out the window isn't the biggest problem.
      • When it hits the glass of the cockpit, which has various minuscule scratches and dirt and whatnot, it gets lit up like a Christmas tree

        no it doesn't and i say that being someone that's shined lasers through glass many times. and i can guarantee a plane's cockpit window is much cleaner than the windows i'm talking about.

        if the glass is clean you'd see basically nothing. if it was dirty, you might see a bit of color. that's it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Obfuscant (592200)

          no it doesn't and i say that being someone that's shined lasers through glass many times.

          Many cockpit windows are not glass, they are plexiglass. Glass is very heavy. Plexiglass tends to pick up lots of micro-scratches from improper, and even proper, cleaning, and it crazes over time from stress and sunlight. Even properly cleaned plexiglass cockpit windows suffer from glare and light splatter, and after a short bit of time during a flight they can have a lot of insect dirt on them, too.

          and i can guarantee a plane's cockpit window is much cleaner than the windows i'm talking about.

          I don't know how you can guarantee any such thing unless you are personally cleaning every one of them prior

        • by mythosaz (572040)

          Do you know how diffused the beam is by the time it gets to the cockpit's dirty plexiglas window?

          Plenty of first-hand observations in this thread tell you that you're flat out wrong.

    • Re:huh (Score:5, Informative)

      by Drago3711 (1415041) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @02:39PM (#47166371)

      You'd think they'd have just put polarized glass in the cockpit by now if it were that big of a deal. Oh wait... that's right, it's not that big of a deal.

      If it were as simple as polarized glass they might actually go that route. Unfortunately for everyone, it is much more complicated than that. [wikipedia.org] You need specific lenses to protect from specific wavelengths (of which there are many).

      [...] hold a laser on a cockpit window for more than a tenth of a second. If a pilot is unable to land a plane after a flash of light that brief, we'd better start making lightening illegal because it's a hell of a lot brighter [...]

      With high powered lasers (that are surprisingly easy to come by) [wickedlasers.com] a fraction of a second is all it takes to cause serious and often permanent eye injury. [wikipedia.org]

      • by Sir Holo (531007)

        With high powered lasers (that are surprisingly easy to come by) [wickedlasers.com] a fraction of a second is all it takes to cause serious and often permanent eye injury. [wikipedia.org]

        Ahem. Beam divergence.

        At the distance an aircraft would be from the laser-pointer, the spot will have spread sufficiently that this is not the case.

        If you solve this problem (you're not), the Navy and Air Force will make you rich.

    • Polarized for which orientation?

    • How about you learn how electromagnetic waves propagate before spreading bullshit?

      How will a polarizer magically prevent pilots from being blinded by a high-power laser?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      and what about the rotary winged aircraft (helicopters) where normally it would be incredibly hard to polarize such complex glass surfaces. Those aircraft also fly closer to the ground meaning that the flash of light is much more intense. they also are not normally moving at speed and hovering making it easier to aim said light at the cockpit and longer flashes of laser light can blind or ruin a pilots career.

      Way to jump to conclusions. every think why New York City was a pilot location? if you read the fbi

    • by gweihir (88907)

      You have no clue. While a 5mW legal laser pointer is not that much of a deal, you can get far larger ones online. And they can blind pilots longer, or permanently. The analogy to lightening also cannot hold water, because that does not come without warning (remember that planes always have good weather reports...). And then there is an indirect kill possibility. In some places cretins shining lasers at air ambulances are a problem. If the pilot has to do an emergency landing while transporting a patient in

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Completely blind the flight crew during lift off or landing isn't a 'big deal'? heicopterpilots that have there eyes damaged is no big deal?

      Please, please try to understand why polarized glass would not solve this problem.

      "cockpit window for more than a tenth of a second. "
      which is all you need to lose focus and be distracted as is, can see the instruments. sure, it's may only be for 4 or 5 seconds, but by then you have hit the ground.

    • Why do we continue to allow things like this to get blown so far out of proportion that we end up sending 16yr olds to prison for something that never really had a chance to do harm to anyone in the first place?

      So essentially blinding someone who is supposed to be in control of a vehicle which weighs several thousand pounds, carrying potentially hundreds of people and gallon upon gallon of highly explosive fuel does no harm? What a strange, twisted world you must live in where you think it's acceptabl
    • by mpicpp (3454017)
      A laser is more highly focused than lightning, so your theory is problematic. And how many times is lightning aimed a cockpit? http://www.laserpointersafety.... [laserpointersafety.com] Here is a description of an incident of lighting blinding a pilot, causing the loss of control and 25 deaths: http://avstop.com/news/strikeb... [avstop.com]
    • by freeze128 (544774)
      I don't know who the first person was to aim a laser at an aircraft, but because the pilots made such a big deal out of it, it is now very widespread. If they had just said nothing, the kids with laser pointers would have gotten bored, and returned home to shine it at the cat.
  • Profit! (Score:5, Funny)

    by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @02:24PM (#47166245)
    1) Find someone who doesn't mind going to jail that much (e.g. a homeless guy, someone with a terminal illness, etc).
    2) Offer to pay him $8K for pointing a laser pointer at a plane and going to jail.
    3) Profit!

    You could probably find a more erratic person willing to take less than $8K of the 10K, but I would imagine you'd want to deal with a fairly rational person who doesn't feel resentment towards you (i.e. for getting ripped off). The goal of this plan is to rip off the government and the tax payer, not the fall guy.

    What the government should do, is offer $20K for turning in the orchestrator of a laser pointer arrest reward scheme.

    • I expect they could get you under RICO
      • I expect there are many laws that someone who was caught implementing this plan could be convicted under. A crucial part of the plan was not getting caught.
        • by Obfuscant (592200)

          A crucial part of the plan was not getting caught.

          A crucial part of the plan is identifying yourself to the police as someone who knows about a crime and turning someone else in. That pretty much rules out "not getting caught" as any significant concern, since if nobody gets caught you don't get the reward.

          • Identifying yourself to the police as someone who committed a crime is different than identifying yourself to the police as someone who witnessed a crime and wants to collect a reward.

            The fall guy is supposed to get caught for point a laser at a plane. The person collecting the reward not supposed to get caught for fraud.

            • by Obfuscant (592200)

              Identifying yourself to the police as someone who committed a crime is different than identifying yourself to the police as someone who witnessed a crime and wants to collect a reward.

              I know that, so that's maybe why I said that part of the plan was "identifying yourself to the police as someone who knows about a crime and turning someone else in" and not "identifying oneself as the criminal". Someone has to get caught, and YOU are the one who is making sure they do. "Not getting caught" is not part of the plan, since nobody gets paid if nobody gets caught.

              The point is that you are making sure that someone gets caught, AND the person who is getting caught is the one you conspired with

            • The fall guy is supposed to get caught for point a laser at a plane. The person collecting the reward not supposed to get caught for fraud.

              It wouldn't be fraud. It would be conspiracy to point a laser etc. etc. so you would get convicted just as the person who actually did it.

  • by maliqua (1316471) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @02:25PM (#47166257)

    I can't imagine it would have any real affect or we'd read about planes falling out of the sky left and right all over the world.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by RandCraw (1047302)

      Yep. Precisely how many planes has any laser brought down so far? Have lasers become a standard military weapon yet? If so I'd expect to see Al Caida and the Taliban routinely using laser pointers to crash US aircraft. But oddly enough, we don't...

      Let's get real. Is a laser pointer a mile away going to disable both of a pilots eyes? AND both of a copilot's eyes? And how long were you blinded when a supermarket checkout scanner laser last caught your eye? Did you crash your shopping cart? Did you cal

  • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @02:26PM (#47166267)

    right? Right?

  • Why do the decision makers in this country have an insatiable urge to ruin everything for everyone by making needles, useless, delusion, meaningless legislation that makes our culture, our lives, our freedoms the governments issue, make normal every day illegal? It is so ludicrous, like one person stated, why do we have such a strange system in which 16 year olds, young, respectable people with futures going to jail for YEARS for stupid frivolous crap, this overly litigated country we live in now is becom
    • by Shados (741919) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @03:30PM (#47166747)

      Its a knee jerk overreaction to people being so freagin retarded in this country. If you don't have laws, enforced laws, with teeth, people do whatever to the full extent of what is allowed, with no common sense whatsoever.

      Now, everywhere in the world has that issue, but just not to the full extent the US has it (as far as the "first world" goes). I've lived in multiple countries for a number of years, and now I'm in the US, and its just shocking. People smoking while leaning on a no-smoking sign. People screaming on top of their lungs in the street at 3 in the morning. People letting their dog bark for hours while cheering it on. Lines while waiting at a busy bus stop? Hell no! If there's no risk of jail time, not only someone will do it, but a LOT of people will do it.

      And people pointing laser pointers at anything and everything.

      Its such a ridiculous society that doesn't give a flying duck about their neighbor. EVER. So you end up in a world where everything has to be fucking spelled out with someone in uniform wacking them behind the head all the time like little babies, or they won't apply the slightest bit of common sense.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You need to read a better source. 40,000 laws is pure grade balognium
      And blinding a flight crew is not frivolous.

    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @05:19PM (#47167511)

      This one isn't frivolous. It has put pilots and crew in the hospital with eye burns.

      http://www.wfaa.com/news/local... [wfaa.com]

      http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/he... [go.com]

      While it hasn't led to air crashes YET it is still a serious form of assault on someone in a critical position.

      Some states still have the death penalty for attacking a first responder. Something to think about.

  • I live in the Chicago area and have never heard about this pilot program for rewards. How could an un-announced program have any effect at all?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @03:47PM (#47166867)
    I'm an airline pilot who has been lased three times, and I'm probably one of the only pilots in the country to have also earned a degree as a laser technician. With these credentials I was chosen to represent my airline at the ALPA Laser Illumination Conference in 2011. http://laserconference.alpa.or... [alpa.org] The threat is real. It's easy to dismiss it as a "what are the odds" type of event, but the truth is that it happens far too frequently. People can buy these 1+ watt diode lasers very easily online and do with them what they will, and they frequently choose to point them at airplanes. What does it look like in the cockpit? Pretty much like an intense green strobe effect. And the worst thing is that once the light is seen the first time it's human instinct to look out the window to try and find the cause of the flash. Then the second blast hits as the pilot is looking directly at it. Depending on altitude and beam divergence, there's a real possibility of permanent eye damage. The lower to the ground, the more likely the damage. At night a pilot's vision is kept adapted to the ambient light in the cockpit, so their pupils are dilated to allow more light in. This also increases likelihood of damage. Flash blindness can last for many minutes, and it's a very bad thing to have your pilots flash blinded. It is a real issue, and having personally experienced it, I can say it's a problem.
    • by Xaedalus (1192463)
      Please mod up--this is insightful. We've got too many anti-nanny state commenters on here, and while their general points are valid, they're drowning out the experienced posters who are coming forward to explain why this is a problem.
    • by OneAhead (1495535)
      How about the commonly sold 5mW Class IIIa laser pointers? I find it difficult to believe those causing flash blindness at the distances and speeds encountered when you're in a cockpit (physical explanation here [slashdot.org]). If those are not a problem, enforcing a law that prohibits aiming more powerful ones at aircraft would become a lot easier.
  • Damn, everyone and his brother should accuse their worse enemy. $10,000 is $10,000. Oh wait, no one is actually going to prosecuted and this is all just a mind fuck? Say it isn't so.

  • Get a family dollar pointer, point a plane, toss pointer by enemy neighbor porch/car door.

    Call report strange laser

    Profit...

    Government is going after "snitches" Supreme Court just stood behind forcing Time's reporter to turn over his anonymous source over a CIA operation he wrote about. They want to arrest Assange/Snowden, they got Manning, making government employees scared to snitch on illegal government activity. Yet the government wants citizens to snitch on each other!?

    Fuck off, I ain't reporting shit,

  • One can report someone for shining a laser pointer, they are arrested but not convicted -as they didn't shine it at a plane, in fact at the time no planes were in the air.
    Profit (just a bit of your time)

  • It's just a source of structural weakness in the airframe anyway. Just get rid of the windows and replace with cameras.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

Working...