Holiday laser displays pose a hazard to airplanes


The Federal Aviation Administration has identified 2021 as the highest reported year for laser strike incidents against aircraft since the FAA began tracking statistics.

Pilots have reported being distracted or blinded by laser beams as they hovered over their heads year round.

It’s a national problem that the FAA has been warning people about for years. Incidents have been reported in Orlando, Daytona Beach and Melbourne.

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Federal officials issued a warning in November saying holiday laser light displays in residential areas could make the problem worse.

Embry Riddle assistant professor of aviation science Bob Thomas said laser-style lighting on homes could pose a danger.

“That’s the key thing, people don’t realize how far a laser light beam can actually go and an airplane can just fly overhead,” Thomas said.

Although it may seem harmless, Thomas said it can cause temporary blindness. Fires threatening the safety of pilots are specific.

“It’s actually a specific type of Christmas light, so the one they’re talking about is the actual laser light you would light up in your home, not necessarily the one you would hang in your house but the one you would put in your yard.”

Federal officials have said they want the public to aim their laser light systems at their homes, not the night sky.

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“They don’t realize that some of the laser beams are actually shining above the house in the sky and when planes fly over they could inadvertently be directed at planes,” Thomas said.

The FAA could issue a fine of $ 11,000 if you point a laser at an airplane and interfere with a pilot.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

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