Saturday, September 02, 2017

AirCare 2: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics helicopter encounters laser

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Someone was shining a laser at a hospital helicopter, late Friday night.

Officials with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics said AirCare 2 was on its way to Ottumwa's hospital at the time.

"It is impossible to understand why anyone would endanger the lives of our patients and staff in such a reckless and callous manner," said UIHC Spokesman Tom Moore in a statement.

Moore said the crew followed procedure and gave coordinates to authorities.

"They were told the person was caught," said Moore. "This wasn't the first incident in that area, and all involved are relieved that an arrest was made."

Pointing a laser into a cockpit is a federal crime, with a potential five-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine. Even so, several thousand laser incidents are reported each year to the Federal Aviation Administration.

In 2015, ABC News reported on a spate of commercial planes flying over New York and New Jersey which spotted lasers beamed toward the aircraft. The FBI and FAA investigated the incident. One agent called it a laser "assault."

Original article can be found here ➤

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