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Thousands of planes hit with lasers this year; over 20 instances reported Wednesday

lasers_screengrab500WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nearly two dozen aircraft were hit by lasers Wednesday night, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

More than 20 aircraft were struck by lasers from the ground last night while flying over cities across the United States. Three laser strikes were reported in the New York City/Newark, N.J early in the evening, followed by three incidents in Texas, where jets were struck while preparing to land at Dallas Love Field. By late evening, pilots reported laser incidents in:

New York/Newark
Jamestown, NY
Oakland, CA
Covington, KY
Danville, KY
Palm Springs, CA
Salt Lake City
Los Angeles
Ontario, CA
St. Petersburg, FL
Springfield, IL
San Juan, PR

None of the pilots reported injuries. Nevertheless, shining a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime that the U.S. vigorously pursues. Lasers distract pilots from their safety duties and can lead to temporary blindness during critical phases of flight, such as takeoff and landing. In some cases in the past, pilots have reported eye injuries that required medical treatment.

As of Oct. 16, the total number of laser strikes around the U.S. this year was 5,352.

— Learn more about lasers and ways to report incidents:

— Report a Laser Strike to the FAA:

Earlier this week, Charles City police reported that a green laser that was pointed at an airplane on Monday, November 2.
Shining a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime. It can harm the pilot and passengers. If you see someone pointing a laser at an aircraft, call 911.


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