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Record number of laser strikes on aircraft


Incidents can temporarily blind pilots during take-off or landing
Federal authorities in the US are investigating more than 20 laser strikes on aircraft across the country during one evening, temporarily blinding pilots during the critical times of take-off or landing. The number of such incidents is on a record rise this year, despite tough punishment for anyone found guilty.
Three laser strikes were reported on a single night this week in the New York City area, another three at Dallas Love Field and more at airports in cities as diverse as Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
There had already been a record 5,352 laser strikes so far this year up to mid-October, up from 2,837 in the whole of 2010.
None of the pilots report injuries, but “shining a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime that the US vigorously pursues,” warned Lynn Lunsford, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman.
Five cities are suffering the worst of these incidents in 2015: Los Angeles with 197, Phoenix with 183, Houston with 151, Las Vegas with 132 and Dallas-Fort Worth with 115. Laser strikes in the US are also hitting transport such as police helicopters.
USA Today


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