Laser pointer pranksters, be warned: the Federal Aviation Administration is coming for you! The FAA has launched a manhunt for laser-wielding criminals after a spate of suspiciously connected attacks against pilots at LaGuardia Airport over the weekend.
On Friday, laser beams hit commuter jets operated by Continental, US Airways, American Eagle and Transtates Airlines, with all incidents occurring between 6 and 8 p.m. On Saturday, a laser hit a Continental jet and a United Airlines Boeing 757, both at around 7 p.m. All of the incidents across the weekend affected planes landing at Runway 4, a notoriously difficult runway at the airport.
If you've never played with lasers near an airport, here's the deal: lasers are capable of lighting up the entire cockpit of a plane from miles away, blinding and disorienting pilots. It's happened before, but this time, the FAA is getting really real. “That’s unusual and highly disturbing,” aviation expert John Trisani told CBS. "Do we have people fooling around or do we have people who have bad intentions to airliners using a sighting, using a laser as a sighter, a weapon’s sighter, just to see the reaction, just to see if Homeland Security takes this seriously?" Because they are! The FAA is asking that anyone with information about the incidents contact police or send an e-mail to LaserReports@faa.gov, and that all laser pointers be used for their intended purpose, which is making fun of Powerpoint slideshows.