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Green Lasers aimed at 6 planes landing at LaGuardia airport

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he Federal Aviation Administration is urging witnesses to contact police after someone aimed a green laser at six airliners as they landed at LaGuardia airport over the weekend. (www.msnbc.msn.com) Altro...

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sheka
mark tufts 0
ben they need to have a police helecopter up during the evenings so they pinpoint where the idiots are so the fools can get arrested and make them pay all fines to the police departments,pilots and the airlines
thenamesIAN
Ian Smith 0
this is getting ridiculous. there needs to be a PSA about this childish tomfoolery.
mhlansdell00
LGA, BWI: all the same. We have the same yoyo's here. They use pointers on State Police choppers and airline equipment alike. As for no laws or penalties, check wit a lawyer. There are probably a bunch of statutes, state and federal that they violate. It's a matter of enforcement.
greenpjs
Then you aren't into astronomy. My green laser makes my telescope many times more pleasant than my old finder scope. Instead of trying to stand on my head to see through the finder scope, I just aim the laser at the star or planet I want to view and I am done. Of course, I don't use it if I see any aircraft in the area. My point is just that there are legitimate uses for these devices. Catch those who misuse them - don't punish the rest.
Isha
Isia Maria 0
It might be kids being stupid snots. Exactly banning things doesn't solve any problem. If it did we'd all already be living in a sunshine land of puppy dogs and ponies. And everyone gets a pony.
WeatherWise
How about banning the sales of green laser pointers. Seems the only people buying them are idiots who shine them at aircraft. I've personally never had a burning desire to own one and don't know anyone else who has.
BenKFIT
Ben Lillie 0
If they stopped green laser sales they would just use the red ones.
WeatherWise
I have an even better idea...hows about we ban the sale of all green AND red laser pointers...
chrisg130
No laser pointers? How would we be able to give PowerPoint presentations? ;)
NF2G
Power Point should have been banned already. LOL.
gosfreikempe
Mike, the only people in the news with Green Laser Pointers are the ones who use them irresponsibly. I own a green laser pointer for astronomical use, and I'm damned careful NOT to point it at aircraft! It's a useful tool to point out stars and planets when one is showing off the sky to interested people. They're just a teaching tool, like red lasers for powerpoint. The green laser is used because people can see the light beam in the air; red lasers don't show up the same way.

For those of you who don't think there are penalties for misusing green lasers, there are indeed laws in the US about pointing lasers at aircraft; a quick search tells me someone in the eastern US was sentenced to three years in jail for such stupidity this year. Someone else got three years in 2009, and another person in 2008 was sentenced to 2 years in jail.

Meanwhile, under the Canadian Aeronautics Act, conviction for laser flashing an aircraft carries maximum penalties of a five-year prison term, and a $100,000 fine:
www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/standards/aerodromeairnav-standards-ais-directed-bright-light-menu-1068.htm. (Source, www.rasc.ca)

People who drive irresponsibly tend to be the only drivers in the news; would you suggest banning the sale of automobiles as a result of a drunk driver causing a fatal collision? I doubt you would. Education is the key to sensible use of cars and other tools, my friend, including green lasers. But just as extreme punishment doesn't stop murder, drinking and driving, or street racing, knee-jerk reactions to the idiots with laser pointers won't make the problem go away.

Amateur astronomers who use low-power green lasers recognize their danger and we use them safely, sensibly, and as little as possible. We also look for aircraft before we use our pointers. And we educate people about the laser pointers as we use them.

One last point to help educate y'all: a 5mw green laser may be low power, but it has 2.600 times the surface brightness of the sun, and at 320 km distance (the height of the International Space Station) it's still as bright as the planet Jupiter (which is currently the bright "star" in the east just after sunset).

Neil Slater
mhlansdell00
3 years, 2 years, what do they serve after good time credits, parole and probation? you can count it in days. WE don't know how to punish people.

I spoke wit a policeman the other day and asked why people on bicycles didn't get arrested or ticketed for obstructing traffic or running a red light. He said because they don't fall under the Motor Vehicle Code, rather the Criminal Code. In his opinion running a red light was not worth jail time. You take it from there.
gosfreikempe
Oh, we know how to punish people. It's educating them that's the problem. Raise your children to act responsibly, teach them love instead of hate, teach them that there are consequences to poor behaviour, teach them to think for themselves. Far too many parents can't teach their children right from wrong. Parents could even teach children to bicycle safely, but let's don't get sidetracked with my other pet peeve...

The suggestion for electric fences in the right locations: who's going to fence off a 30km-wide corridor under every flight path? How ya gonna keep pencil-sized lasers out? Machine guns on planes to kill the person with the laser? Uh, yeah, sure, there goes the neighbourhood. Some of the comments and suggestions are as irresponsible as the person with the laser.

The news video has two errors that pop out immediately. The first comes with 6 seconds: they're not high powered lasers, but LOW power - 5 to 50 milliwatts. At 2:05, the report says they "can be brighter than the sun." As I said before, a 5mw laser is 2600 times brighter than the surface of the sun; and is visible for miles. Green lasers don't have to be powerful; the frequency of light just makes the light path visible in air, and more useful to astronomers.

There's also a major error in the comments: most of you assume the people involved are teens. Unfortunately, many are adults, and should know better.

A green laser pointer is a tool. Like any other tool, it can be used as a weapon. Hammers have killed more people than green lasers (yeah, yeah, I know - SO FAR), but should hammers be banned? Should legislation restrict hammers to under 6 ounces in weight for safety reasons?

One last point, Mark, then I'm out of this discussion: in many states, that 2- or 3-year sentence (could be more if the judges thought it worthwhile) will result in the person's right to vote being revoked for life. Thus, the sentence CAN have longer repercussions than a few days in jail.
mhlansdell00
Neil you have to get familiar with the U.S. Constitution and your State Constitution as well. That's where all law and punishment is supposed to come from. You can't do some of the things you suggest as remedies. Yes your right about judges,and is pretty much what I meant in my reply. But, judges are more and more inclined to put offenders into the revolving door of justice rather than learn about the crimes they are punishing.If your talking about loosing ones right to vote as a convicted felon, even that is being relaxed and the felons are getting their rights back in different states, Maryland and Florida being just two of them.
mhlansdell00
Further, my story about the conversation with the petrolman highlights another problem. If the crime is under the wrong catagory the police won't enforce the law because the penaltys are too harsh. I know they're not supposed to, but it's human nature.
gosfreikempe
The remedies I suggested are education and responsible parenting. Why couldn't I do that? The other comments about fences and guns are from other peoples' suggestions. I just tried to point out their silliness.

If some of your states are restoring the right to vote to convicted felons, then maybe there's hope for education.
mhlansdell00
You last paragraph was pretty much what I was responding to.("One last point, Mark, then I'm out of this discussion: in many states, that 2- or 3-year sentence (could be more if the judges thought it worthwhile) will result in the person's right to vote being revoked for life. Thus, the sentence CAN have longer repercussions than a few days in jail.") That didn't have much to do with education nor responsible parenting.
ShooterAoD
Guys...you can make the fines and penalities as stiff as a 18 year old's you know what, but it isnt going to stop it. It might slow it down, but putting a stop to it...aint gonna happen. Banning them wont do it either. You always have that certain bunch that says..."They will never catch me". I am 100% FOR capital punishment, but it doesnt stop people from killing others. The best recourse I can think of is for there to be a group of enforcers go visit the person(s) that do this and basically beat the living Hell out of them for the first offense, then tell them that if it ever happens again...get your afairs in order and plan a trip to go meet Jesus.
mhlansdell00
The cure is worse than the disease. They call the battery and followed by assault.
macareno
Nobody mentionned terrorists ! If they hijacked 4 aircrafts in 2001 as if they had walked into a Walmart, they can certainly make use of this cheap "weapon". Of course, I hope they won't...
SmokingKoala
absolutely imbecile. and i mean both, the thugs AND lawmakers. people get groped at security and lasering an a/c is a matter of a modest fine. god take yer thrash back!!!
mhlansdell00
Maybe we should call it a "device for mass destruction", but only if we call 200 people a mass. The laws are there it's up to the arresting officer and the prosecutor to charge them properly.
devsfan
ken young 0
forget due process. The perpetrators should be shot as terrorists
mhlansdell00
First you gotta catch um. You're talking about a gizmo that's legal and about the size of your thumb.
BoeingFan59
These young teen PUNKS! (Probably teens as usual) need to be put away! I remember my instructor telling me when she was being aimed at with a laser the C150 was put almost in a stall! These people can really kill someone these days...
flywm
flywm 0
Why did she almost stall the plane, panic over a light? Crazy
BoeingFan59
well let's see.....windsheild and lasers don't mix...they'll blind ya if they aim it at you for a minute.
gosfreikempe
Or a second.
gosfreikempe
Have you ever been cut off unexpectedly on the highway? Did you react calmly when the vehicle came out of nowhere? Ever had to drive towards the sunset? A laser is brighter, comes at you unexpectedly in the dark, and as the news video shows, can illuminate the entire cockpit,and can splash the whole window with green brightness. It's not "just a light," and she wasn't crazy.
flywm
flywm 0
Oh come on, I'm joking like Robert. I'm not a laser guy... I'm just saying you could take your hands off that plane (C150) cover your eyes and look up again and it will be right where you left it, it's not a helicopter or jet like the video. I'm sure it would not be cool. :)

rseery
A C150 is always "almost in a stall" unless it is parked.... :D
BoeingFan59
I find it very easy to fly :)
JReinertsen
Anyone else feel like a fine and a charge of, oh let's say attempted manslaughter would help out a bit more?
canuck44
canuck44 0
You really mean attempted premeditated murder given the forethought and malice both being present. It is not like this trash is using the lasers from short school buses so should be entirely culpable.

Ten to fifteen years with restricted use of K-Y Jelly will change a few minds.
mhlansdell00
Locating and catching these perpetrators is a difficult task at best. It may be simpler and less costly to develop a windshield material or a coating that would absorb or reflect the light frequencies of green lasers
preacher1
preacher1 0
As with Ian's comment, I don't think there is a public awareness of just how serious and widespread this problem is and as Boyd says, there is no serious jail time or other deterrent; sad part of all this is, until there is a major crash and this type action determined as the cause, there probably won't be.
BenKFIT
Ben Lillie 0
These freaks need to stop, and they won't until there is a serious penalty for it.
linbb
linbb 0
They still dont have any law that says you cannot do it without serioius jail time? Just an 11000 fine? The punks that do it dont have any money so they will be released and told to pay the fine which they wont probably gang members any way so nothing will be done in the long run and it will turn into just a big joke with them even if an airplane crashes.
JReinertsen
Restricted use of K-y jelly. Ah john, nicely put
preacher1
preacher1 0
Dang John, you are real mean.LOL
BenKFIT
Ben Lillie 0
They should mount fully-automatic pellet guns on planes so that if incidents like this happen the people responsible will wish they had never even thought about doing it.
alistairm
alistairm 0
Ben, only a pellet gun?? I would mount a GE GAU8 30mm gatling gun!! Let's vaporize these fools with some depleted uranium, hehehehe:)
preacher1
preacher1 0
Problem is guys, you may have to worry a bit about collateral damge there.LOL
BenKFIT
Ben Lillie 0
The only problem is, we would be spending time in jail if we used those.
RCrock
How about electrified fences in right locations? About 15,000 Volts will do it.
garys58
Banning the sale of laser pointers won't solve anyhing....they will buy one black market or build it...the problem is uncontroled people with no fear of reprisals. Make and enforce laws and people will change.
jmilazzo
Yeah it's still happening. Someone got lasered just outside the tanks on the visual approach on Friday night as we were taking off. The controller was very aggressive in getting the details to file the report.
canuck44
canuck44 0
Obviously the one issue we can not stamp out is "congenital assholeism", which is always going to be with us. They seem to breed as fast as lawyers and if you lock up two there will be four.

This begs for a windshield technology that disperses intense lights in certain frequencies below a pilot set visual point such as the end of a runway, but allows black and white vision through it, but natural light above it.
Airway61
There is a good institution,"That specializes in correcting,that kind of behavior.And,it's nearby LaGuardia.It's called "Riker's Island!!!"
Redskinsfanqca
they were doing this at KMLI too
SkyDelay
This would be a good time to deploy the frozen blue ice ;)
Airway61
Frozen blue ice.Launched by GPS

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