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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: 1) by dime on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:54PM

    by dime (1163) on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:54PM (#51842)

    It is overblown, but consider the circumstances. Imagine you're carrying a box while walking across a tightrope.
    The box itself is worth only a few billion dollars... but inside of it are the lives of 200 men, women, and children.
    Does some fucktard get to point a laser into your eye while you're trying to make it safely across?

    And if you yelled, "Hey, STOP! What you're doing is really dangerous for no reason what so ever.
    You're getting no benefit from this and at the same time potentially endangering the lives of a lot of people."

    Meanwhile, the guy responds "Lasers gonna lase!" and keeps going

  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday June 05 2014, @07:21PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 05 2014, @07:21PM (#51856) Journal

    Flying an airplane on final approach is no where near as precarious as a tightrope.

    At the first hint of a laser the pilot dons laser goggles, and makes an instrument landing.

    In Worst Case FAA flight simulator studies with a simulated laser placed at the end of the runway, 25% of test pilots opted to abort the landing and go around.

    In real life, go-arounds for lasers seldom ever happen, and damage to pilots vision is usually fleeting [dtic.mil], and the pilot continues to land the plane.

    Most new legislation on laser use against planes is happening at the state level, not the federal level.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.