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Laser attacks on pilots growing

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posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 06:41 PM
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The number of laser attacks on pilots exploded in 2015. From 2011 until 2014, the number of attacks stayed fairly steady, with 3592 in 2011, 3482 in 2012, 3962 in 2013, and 3894 in 2014. By November of last year, the number of attacks stood at 6624, or 200 a day on average. Fortunately there have been no accidents related to these attacks, but the danger is very real. In 2014, the first blue laser attacks were reported. These are more intense than the red and green lasers.

Pilots hit by a laser, while in flight, have reported that it took days, or even weeks for them to get full vision back afterwards, and have had to get medical treatment. Incidents have happened during the cruise portion of flight as well. Reports have come in from pilots as high as 30,000 feet claiming a laser strike. In one European attack, the pilots stated that the laser had to have been tripod mounted, because it followed the aircraft accurately for a full minute. It's believed that this attack had malicious intent, and wasn't just someone shining at the plane, as those usually last only a few seconds.

The perpetrators of these attacks are rarely caught, because by the time police can be alerted, and arrive at where they think the laser came from, the person behind it is long gone. If it comes from a building, there's no way to tell which part of the building it came from well enough for police to find them.


Imagine executing a complex night approach to a major airport in highly congested airspace — lots of step-downs and a steep final segment — when suddenly an intensively bright light blasts the cockpit.

The windshield instantly turns opaquely green — but worse, you are temporarily blinded, as if a camera had been strobed too close to your face, and your eyes are burning. And the effect doesn’t immediately dissipate. You’re still descending to the ground, and you can’t see.

Now, if you are flying single-pilot, you’re in big trouble. You’ll have to break off the approach, somehow keep the wings level while initiating a climb (if you can find and manipulate the autopilot controls by touch alone), and report your situation to ATC, hoping they can get everyone else in the airspace out of the way until your vision clears. If you’re in a crewed flight deck and the other pilot’s vision isn’t so corrupted, the approach and landing can continue safely — assuming the light doesn’t strike again.

Once on the ground, the “afterimaging” will likely slowly diminish, but retinal damage could keep you grounded until the healing is complete. Longer exposure can end a career.

You are the victim of a laser light attack, and you’re not alone.

aviationweek.com...




posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 06:48 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Could this be classified as terrorism? People could be killed by this sort of stupidity.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 06:49 PM
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a reply to: Skid Mark

Yes, it could. It's already a federal offense, but some of these I wouldn't mind seeing upgraded to terrorism charges.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 06:59 PM
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Yes, give 'em a skwauk real quick for location and ask if A T C has seen it....

I was surprised 200 lasers a day.....geesh

edit on 6-2-2016 by GBP/JPY because: yessirrr



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:00 PM
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I always wonder how people are able to hit the planes at all with their lasers.

- I have a hard time pointing at the right thing 12 feet away when doing a presentation!



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:03 PM
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a reply to: DupontDeux

Most of them are either on takeoff, or landing, when they're low, slow, and all lit up. At cruising altitude, you'd have to aim at the lights above you and hope to hit it.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:03 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
I wouldn't mind it either. I can imagine that happening at just the wrong time and a plane load of people getting killed. That would be just horrible. How far can a laser reach, by the way?



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:07 PM
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a reply to: Skid Mark

A long way. The Spyder 3 Krypton laser pointer can reach 85 miles. You won't see any kind of reflection, but if you're on the other end, you can see it from several miles, even with a lower end one.
edit on 2/6/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

edit on 2/6/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:10 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: DupontDeux

Most of them are either on takeoff, or landing, when they're low, slow, and all lit up.


Oh, that makes sense. For some reason I imagined it being mid-flight.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:12 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Wow! I had no idea.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:12 PM
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A temporary consideration would be to have the co-pilot wear protective goggles on takeoff and approach? That way if the pilot is blinded the other could still fly and possibly land, or divert?



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:14 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

This needs to be given more publicity really. Maybe we can get kids to stop mucking around but if this is deliberate its going to be hard to stop.

Don't know what else to do but make people on the ground aware and to keep an eye open.

I wouldn't attempt to stop a gunman but if I caught someone playing with a laser, you know where I'm going to shove it.

Needs to be more widely known.
That's a very surprising number.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: ArchAngel_X

Both Airbus and Boeing are working on a window system that reacts to laser light hitting it, but it's going to be several years before it's even ready to be installed on aircraft, at least.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:18 PM
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a reply to: Tulpa

It does. The media isn't interested, because there haven't been any accidents. About the only place I've seen anything reported about this is on aviation sites.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:21 PM
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originally posted by: DupontDeux
I always wonder how people are able to hit the planes at all with their lasers.

- I have a hard time pointing at the right thing 12 feet away when doing a presentation!


Exactly, and then consider that pilots sit well back from the front of the plane, so any laser from the ground would have to be many many miles away to be able to hit the pilots eyes.



Reports have come in from pilots as high as 30,000 feet claiming a laser strike.

Think about the angle required to hit a pilot at 30,000 feet! How is that even possible? Bacuase of the angle required surely the plane would so far away it wouldn't even be visible from the ground.

I have to wonder if something else is the cause for this.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:25 PM
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a reply to: Tulpa

Yeah really -- I've never heard of this happening before now, of course I'm not an aviation buff.

Still, seems like information the public should be more aware of.

Are these type of lasers easily accessible to the average joe? And are they expensive? Just curious if it could just be some bored a##hole or something more nefarious.


S & F OP.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: Skid Mark


Yep, with a claimed range of 85 miles (137 km), the top-end model Krypton can apparently shoot its 1-watt beam through the earth's atmosphere and into outer space. It puts out 86 million lux, which reportedly makes its projected dot appear 8,000 times brighter than the Sun. The laser does at least come with safety goggles, plus it has a coding feature that keeps unauthorized users from being able to turn it on.

It is also said to be the first laser to incorporate an internal thermopile detector. This lowers the operating current to stabilize the device's temperature, when excess heat is detected.

www.gizmag.com...



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: MaryaNoxx

They're simple laser pointers that you can buy at the dollar store in many cases.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:28 PM
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a reply to: VoidHawk

The side windows are right next to the pilots head. But over 90% of the laser attacks are at low altitude, when they're landing or taking off. Only a handful of reports have been at higher altitude.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:29 PM
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Look at the bottom edge of the window, look how far ahead the closest land is, it must be tens of miles at least! Could a person on the ground see a plane at that distance?



I think the real cause is something else, though I have no idea what it could be.



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