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posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the it-was-only-a-matter-of-time dept.

Papas Fritas writes:

"Scott Smith reports at AP that 26-year-old Sergio Patrick Rodriguez has been convicted of pointing a green laser at a Fresno Police Department helicopter and sentenced to spend 14 years in federal prison. 'This is not a game. It is dangerous, and it is a felony,' says US Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner. 'Those who aim lasers at aircraft should know that we will seek to convict them, and we will seek to send them to prison. The safety of aircraft and the people in them demands no less.' According to evidence presented at trial, Rodriguez and his girlfriend, Jennifer Lorraine Coleman, 23, used a high-powered green laser pointer 13 times more powerful than common pointers to repeatedly strike the cockpit of Air 1 during a clear summer night in 2012. In imposing the sentence, Judge O'Neill considered not only the severity of the offenses but Rodriguez's criminal history, numerous probation violations, and Bulldog gang affiliation. An expert said that the laser pointer that Rodriguez used was an instrument capable of inflicting serious bodily injury and death due to a high potential for crash caused by visual interference. A jury found Rodriguez guilty of attempting to interfere with safe operation of aircraft and aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft. 'Lasing aircraft is not a joke or a casual prank,' says Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller of the FBI's Sacramento field office. 'Rodriguez's sentence clearly demonstrates the seriousness of his actions and that the FBI will work with its law enforcement partners to locate and arrest those who engage in dangerous, improper use of hand-held lasers that puts us all at risk.'

On February 11, 2014, in 12 cities, the FBI, in collaboration with the Air Line Pilots Association International and the FAA, announced the Laser Threat Awareness campaign, a nationwide effort to alert the public to the threat that aircraft laser illumination poses and the penalties for such activity. 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. The program is being rolled out in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Houston and San Antonio, Texas; Los Angeles and Sacramento, California; Philadelphia; Phoenix, Arizona; Cleveland, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; New York; and San Juan, Puerto Rico."

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  • (Score: 1) by lrmo on Tuesday March 11 2014, @06:55PM

    by lrmo (838) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @06:55PM (#14766)

    Are the wavelengths known for these high powered lasers and can pilots wear filters to block that part of the spectrum?

  • (Score: 1) by dx3bydt3 on Tuesday March 11 2014, @07:17PM

    by dx3bydt3 (82) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @07:17PM (#14780)

    532nm is most common for green lasers, right in the middle of the visible spectrum. I'm sure a filter excluding this wavelength is available, but it would give an odd colour cast to the user. Comparable filters are used for astronomy, to exclude the wavelengths of typical street lights. Those filters definitely impart some odd colour to whatever you see through them.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Tuesday March 11 2014, @07:38PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 11 2014, @07:38PM (#14801) Journal

      True it can cause color shifts if you use the wrong type of glasses.
      Pilots should also be cautious of laser safety glasses made for laboratory use, which are not specified for aviation use.

      There are already several brands and models of safety eye-wear for pilots on the market [].

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