CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Culture

Lasers hit 12 flights in one night over New Jersey, FAA says

Technically Incorrect: It seems that some people are intent on disturbing commercial pilots. For what?

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


lasers6.jpg
12 pilots called in laser attacks in one night in one state. CNN screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

One can always wonder why a person does things.

It's a little harder when a behavior becomes seemingly habitual, but with its purpose only being destructive.

For several years now, airline pilots have been concerned about people beaming lasers into their cockpits.

The senseless behavior seems to be reaching a quite insane level.

The Federal Aviation Administration told me that Wednesday night 11 commercial flights and one US Coast Guard aircraft were affected by laser beams. Eight were Newark arrivals and three were headed for LaGuardia.

Flights from American Airlines, JetBlue, Delta and United were among those affected.

An FAA spokesman added: "The events occurred between 9 and 10:30 p.m. There were no injuries reported. The FAA will investigate."

The spokesman told me that the affected flights were all at between 3,000 and 9,000 feet. CNN reported that five flights were diverted.

He also told me that 23 other US flights reported laser incidents that same night -- from Jacksonville, Florida to San Jose, California.

The FAA would not be drawn as to whether these were all isolated incidents or whether there's any evidence of a concerted effort to disrupt air travel.

The Transportation Security Administration explains that pointing a laser at a plane is a felony punishable with a five-year jail sentence.

A laser beam can travel more than a mile. It produces a sudden glaring flash of light that can disorient a pilot at a critical part of the flight.

What can possibly possess people who are doing this? Is this for them merely fun? Some fun.