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Green Laser Incidents Continue Near Boston
Separate incidents in a short window have raised eyebrows.
The aviation community is currently grappling with a series of perplexing and potentially hazardous events that have unfolded near Boston. Over a short period of 24 hours, commercial flights from Alaska, JetBlue, and Delta reported incidents where green lasers were shined into the cockpit. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken notice, according to a report.
It began with Alaska flight 536 from Seattle, which reported being targeted by a green laser shortly after 5:10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 14. Other flights such as JetBlue flight 988 and Delta flight 803 reported similar and alarming occurrences earlier on Monday morning.
A Continuing Issue
Lasers, particularly those of high power, can pose a significant threat when directed at aircraft. Pilots, during critical phases such as takeoff and landing, can be blinded or disoriented by the sudden glare. The law is unequivocal about the gravity of such actions, prescribing hefty fines and even imprisonment for offenders. However, despite these strict regulations, the U.S. continues to witness a steady stream of laser strike reports.
In 2022, the FAA shared that pilots reported 9,457 encounters with lasers, down slightly from 2021. Reported incidents jumped from 6,852 in 2020 to 9,723 in 2021. According to data from the agency, 12 laser encounters were reported in Boston last year. Topping the list for the most laser incidents in 2022 was Houston, Texas at 360 reports.
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