FAA investigates lasers pointed at planes - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

FAA investigates lasers pointed at planes

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Nicole Gerber

ngerber@abc6.com

@nicolegerber

The FAA is investigating reports of laser beams shot into the cockpits of two planes in our area last night.

The crime is a federal offense, and can create a dangerous situation for the pilot.

The FAA says that the lasers created a green blast of light that illuminated the cockpits of one Delta plane traveling from Boston and another Jet Blue aircraft landing at Logan as it was just north of Providence.

It sounds like something straight out of science fiction: a laser beam strong enough to reach an airplane tens of thousands of feet in the air.

But it's a reality...and it poses a serious threat to pilots and passengers.

"It comes into the cockpit as a wider beam, and it will totally blind you. The whole place will either green or red out, and it looks exactly like you're looking into the sun," said Doug Auclair, Master Flight Instructor and Owner at Air Ventures Flying School.

"Obviously it's pretty scary, especially flying with a new baby, but yeah you know we fly a good amount, especially my wife, she flies for work a good amount, so it's certainly not something you want to hear about," said Justin Rogers, who had just landed at TF Green today.

State Police and TF Green airport police have been notified but no word yet on who may be responsible for the laser beams.

Flight experts tell us that while pilots are taught about the possibility of facing lasers out in the open skies, there isn't much they can do to prepare.

"You can't unfortunately be trained to fly completely blind... so if you can't see at all, you can't really do anything," said Auclair.

Now, police in Newton, just west of Boston, are looking into a report from a driver that a man pointed a green laser at him and others while he was near Forte Park... about two hours before the same happened to the planes.

Police don't know yet whether the two incidents are related.

Jet Blue and Delta are not releasing any statements at this time.

(c) WLNE-TV 2014

 

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