November 8, 2011- At least six planes have recently had lasers aimed at them while landing in New York at LaGuardia Airport. Back in 2005, there are only 283 incidents in all of the U.S. In 2010, there have been 2,836 incidents reported.
FAA authorities are trying to find witnesses after green lasers were aimed at six airplanes over the weekend at the airport. The laser can be distracting to pilots or can even blind them. The laser’s location was approximately five miles from the airport. The laser hit the planes sometime when they were above Brooklyn or Queens.
The lasers hit commuter jets from American Eagle, Transtates Airlines, U.S. Airways and Continental Friday night. The incidents took place between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm.
A commuter jet from Continental and a Boeing 757 from United were hit on Saturday with the laser. The altitude of the planes at the time they were hit was only 1,600 to 2,500 feet. A FAA spokesperson said all of the planes landed without incident.
With handheld laser pointers becoming more and more powerful and cheaper to buy, the problem has become much more serious. Manufacturers of these lasers have now included green ones since that light is more visible than red laser light.
Phoenix has the highest number of laser incidents in the country, with 96 thus far in 2011.