posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 02:37 AM
originally posted by: georgezip
Las Vegas-- James David Zipf, 30, pleaded guilty in June to one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft. Although no crashes were caused by
this utter stupidity, one police helicopter officer reported an injury. The officer reported that he suffered a severe headache from the
lasing. Since the FAA started tracking this type of activity in 2005 there has been an 1100%increase
This particular genius was using a blue laser, and I wanted to ask other ATSers out there approximately how powerful this laser was, and could a
terrorist ever bring a plane down this way?
I was also trying to figure out how a pilot in a cockpit of a normal jet or prop plane could be affected by someone lasing from the ground. Unless
the lasing point was high on a mountain or some tower it would seem rather difficult to hit a pilot's eyes.
Have any ATS pilots ever had this happen to them?
I take it you have never actually shined a laser over an appreciable distance.
What NiZZiM says is spot on, I once had a green laser, and that # was like Star Wars, you could see the beam on a hazy night. Me and a fellow Marine
had that green laser, and we were going back to Camp Pendleton after a 96 (from Vegas ironically) and he was playing around with it. It was the winter
time and it was snowing on Cajon Pass. He shined the laser out the window into the air and I felt like I was driving the Luxor. The beam was so bright
and you could see it all the way to the clouds. But I'm going off topic here.
Go and buy a cheapy laser from Wal Mart, fresh batteries. Now, if you live in a neighborhood, when it gets dark, shine the laser at a house down the
block, obviously try not to hit windows.
You will quickly notice that you can still see the point of light even from where you are. This is because a laser, despite how focused it is, will
still form a cone. That one MM point at the lasers tip suddenly turns into an inch or more across when it hits a surface a hundred yards away. This is
true for all lasers. I imagine the aircraft was much higher than 100 meters, and if he was shining an even more powerful laser, this helicopter pilot
probably had a several inch light hitting him in the face. He is flying an aircraft. I will leave you to add 2+2.