Remember laser pointers? They were just about everywhere at one point, and you always heard horror stories of someone taking one to the eye (dangerous by the way), or at sporting events, they were 'drawing' on the athletes or court. One Minnesota Police Department reminds its citizens that shining lasers at planes is a FEDERAL crime.
The Kenyon Police Department posted about a phone call from the Minneapolis Air Traffic Control tower at Minneapolis/St. Paul International over the holiday weekend.
Last night, I spoke to the Minneapolis Air Traffic Control about a laser pointing incident that involved an airplane descending into the MSP Airport. The pilot reported to the MATC that the laser came from the city of Kenyon. I told the MATC that I would notify the citizens of Kenyon, so they can anonymously report any future incidents to the police department or to the FAA. It's unfortunate that we have to tell the public to avoid these kinds of actions. It should be common sense.
The Federal Aviation Administration website has this to say about Laser Strikes.
Laser strikes on aircraft remain a serious threat to aviation safety. Intentionally aiming lasers at aircraft pose a safety threat to pilots and violate federal law. Many high-powered lasers can incapacitate pilots flying aircraft that may be carrying hundreds of passengers.
The FAA works closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to pursue civil and criminal penalties against people who purposely aim a laser at an aircraft. The agency takes enforcement action against people who violate Federal Aviation Regulations by shining lasers at aircraft and can impose civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation. The FAA has imposed civil penalties of up to $30,800 against people for multiple laser incidents.
Clearly, the person shining a laser at the plane wasn't using a typical over-the-counter laser pointer you get from Walgreens, but you get the gist, use your noggin, and keep your laser beams out of the sky.
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