'Laser Events' Nearly Double from 2009 to 2010: FAA - HotHardware
'Laser Events' Nearly Double from 2009 to 2010: FAA

'Laser Events' Nearly Double from 2009 to 2010: FAA

Last week, the FAA announced that there were a record number of "laser events" in 2010. What the FAA means by that, there was a record number of idiots who think it's funny to potentially temporarily blind a pilot with a laser pointer or even some high-powered laser device.

The FAA created a formal reporting system for laser events in 2005. Reports nearly double from 2009 to 2010, with 1,527 and 2,836 events, respectively. In the first year for formal reporting, 2005, there were only 300 events.

The top 10 airports in terms of laser events are:
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 102
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) 98
  • Phoenix/Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) 80
  • San Jose International Airport (SJC) 80
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS) 72
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) 66
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK) 55
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL) 47
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) 39
  • Denver International Airport (DEN) 38
Silicon Valley has 3 of those 10 airports, San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco. It just goes to show that being one of the world's tech centers doesn't mean you have a population with a high degree of intelligence, or perhaps more accurately, a high degree of common sense.


Planes are most vulnerable during takeoff and landing. That is, of course, also the "best time" to try to target them with lasers. The image above, from the website of Wicked Lasers, shows an FAA flight simulator, with the laser 1,200 feet away, "showing veiling glare where it is hard to see through the light to the background scene."

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said,
"This is a serious safety issue. Lasers can distract and harm pilots who are working to get passengers safely to their destinations."
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WOW, idiots these day, i would love to a see a plane crash in to THEM... but no that would harm the others on the plane as well... :(

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/agree. Anyone caught doing this should not only be fined, have mandatory jail time, but should be put in a pillory in the town square where people from the flight and their loved ones can come 'visit'.

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I have had it done to me in PHX. It really sucks.

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i would hate to see any plane crash at all... especially for a reaonlike revenge.

But this is pathetic... what is the motive behind it... innocent people could die just because someone thought i'd be cool to see if their home made laser can reach 10,000ft in the air.

Pathetic.

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This could be fixed by a $1 pair of sun glasses or any lens that is tinted. Heck they could even coat the cockpit windshield with that stuff. They do it in sky scrapers, why not in planes. Alternatively have the surface mirrored so that the beam is shot back into itself so that it blinds the dumbarse that did this in the first place.

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@Drago:

I wear my sunglasses at night

So I can, so I can

Fly my plane

Into the ground.

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Drago, will that work? the mirror/tint idea, I think they need a nice clear view of the sky. But wearing sunglasses will not work because the laser blurs/blocks the cockpit window not the pilots eye only.

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Attempted murder, number charges is the number of people on the plane.

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the laser only happens at night, so sunglasses, ans tinted windows will make it hard to see at night. Its not really a fix. Now give the AC a missile or two and that will fix it. :D

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They need to set up a series of Phalanx systems around airports and let them track any laser breaches into airfields.

If those Dipships knew that when U point a Laser towards planes that, they would get 4500rounds of 20mm in return! It would put an end to this stupidity reall quick!

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