As a JetBlue flight from Syracuse began its descent toward JFK last night, some rat bastard psychotic aimed a laser pointer into the cockpit, hitting the co-pilot in the eye. Fortunately the plane landed safely, but the flight's first officer suffered a minor eye injury. "We just got lasered here," the pilot told the control tower about 35 miles away from the airport. "Two green flashes, and it caught the first officer in his eye." In case you're wondering what a laser beam looks like when it flashes into a cockpit, here's a jarring video taken in a Russian flight that was hit by a laser pointer:
"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,” San Francisco International Airport spokesman Mike McCarron tells ABC, which reports that there were more than 3,500 documented incidents of lasers being pointed at aircrafts in 2011, up from fewer than 300 in 2005.
The co-pilot—who had command of the plane at the time—was sent to the hospital for treatment for a minor eye injury, NBC New York reports. No arrests have been made (yet), but idiots who get caught shining laser pointers at planes face up to 20 years in prison, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. In 2009, a California man was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for laser beaming a cockpit.