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posted by Woods on Thursday June 05 2014, @03:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the you-could-put-an-eye-out-with-that-thing dept.

The FBI has announced that they are expanding their campaign nationwide aimed at deterring people from pointing lasers at aircraft-by rewarding those who provide information about individuals who engage in this dangerous crime and aggressively prosecuting the perpetrators. A key part of the publicity campaign is reward money. The FBI will offer up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of any individual who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft. "We want to encourage people to come forward when they see someone committing this crime, which could have terrible consequences for pilots and their passengers," says George Johnson.

Since the FBI and the FAA began tracking laser strikes in 2005, there has been more than a 1,100 percent increase in the number of incidents with these devices, which can be purchased in stores or online for as little as a few dollars. Last year, 3,960 laser strikes against aircraft were reported. It is estimated that thousands of attacks go unreported every year. In March a 26-year-old California man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for aiming a laser pointer at a police helicopter and a hospital emergency transport helicopter. The man and his girlfriend were using a device that was 13 times more powerful than the permissible power emission level for handheld lasers. The girlfriend was also convicted and recently sentenced to a two-year prison term.

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by pert.boioioing on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:14PM

    by pert.boioioing (1117) on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:14PM (#51770)

    Something like this, perhaps? [] Not sure how practical this would be with commercial airplanes flying at altitude, but the video is still interesting.

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  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:41PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:41PM (#51811) Journal

    That incident took a police helicopter, pilot and observer, several squad cars, and a dispatcher. Probably not cost effective.

    If the FBI offered 10K to any police force that arrested a laser jocky, you could pay for several of these operations per week. (Almost all police choppers are equipped with FLIR already.)

    Getting a citizen to report some gang banger with a laser is going to be a tough sell, as his buddies will surly seek revenge.

    Unfortunately, it will probably take a crashed airliner for this stupidity to stop. That has never happened (Yet)

    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:57PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:57PM (#51816)

      Are you implying that CNN hasn't reported yet how MH370 disappeared from being melted by a laser pointer?

      • (Score: 1) by Hawkwind on Thursday June 05 2014, @09:41PM

        by Hawkwind (3531) on Thursday June 05 2014, @09:41PM (#51920)

        I believe there are a couple of Aussies who saw this happen but they admit it might've been a meteorite. They're placing the odds of it being MH370 at about 20%.