Laser Injures JetBlue Pilot's Eye

It was minor, and the plane landed safely
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2012 2:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – A JetBlue pilot suffered an eye injury Sunday when someone shot a laser into the cockpit of his plane at 5,000 feet. The incident occurred as the flight was landing at JFK Airport in New York, ABC News reports. The flight landed safely, and the injury is described as "minor," but it's the latest in a sudden explosion of laser incidents involving planes—since 2011, more than 3,500 have been documented, up from 300 in 2005.

It's a dangerous trend, one airport spokesman explains. "What happens is that pinpoint spreads out as it gets up higher and farther away, and what may seem like a very faint light to you, in a cockpit, gets almost blinding." Authorities say interfering with a flight is a federal crime, and they have sought to prosecute offenders when they can find them. One California man was sentenced to 2½ years in prison for training his laser on a pair of jets.

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