Friday, December 16, 2016

Laser pointing aircraft taking off

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — With the Holiday Season in full swing, UPS as always is stepping it up, and packages are flying worldwide and around the clock.

It takes a lot of focus to fly a plane, but the UPS pilots union, the Independent Pilots Association, says many of its members are being pointed out in a dangerous way.

People on the ground are lighting up their cockpits with long-range laser pointers.

“It fills up the cockpit with green light,” Bill Cason, a UPS pilot and the IPA Security Chairman, said.  “It's like a disco ball effect to some degree.”

The effects, however, can be, “all the way up to flash blindness,” Cason warned.

Impaired vision for a pilot is a recipe for disaster.

The Federal Aviation Administration says stats on lasing aircraft are taking off.

Figures as of November 12 have incidents at 6,110 nationwide for the year, 187 across Kentucky and 52 in city of Louisville.

Hitting an aircraft with a laser is a federal crime.  Anyone caught faces up to five years in prison and a maximum penalty of $11,000 per violation.

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