FBI launches nationwide campaign responding to laser attacks on pilots

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by Brooke Hasch

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 3, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 3 at 6:37 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The FBI announced a big campaign across the country Tuesday to respond to what it calls a growing problem: Attacks on airplane pilots from people using laser pointers.

The FBI said this has become a real problem over the last few years. Since 2005, agents have tracked these laser strikes on aircraft. Agents have seen an 1,100 percent increase in almost a decade.

The lasers used aren't your typical PowerPoint lasers. They carry a bit more power, but are just as available. 

The attacks are taking place in the middle of the night, more so in the summer months. The FBI believes many of the perpetrators are doing this without knowing the dangers that it could cause, but also acknowledged these laser strikes could also be legitimate acts of terror.

"That laser goes into a dark cockpit and it just blasts light through the cockpit. It's like being in a really dark room having someone shine a bright light in your eyes. You really can't see and it lasts for a long enough time to be a real problem," Mary Trotman, FBI Louisville division, said.

This is a problem here in Louisville and across the country. Last year, there were 99 reported incidents at Louisville Airports.

If you are ever witness to someone pointing a laser at a plane, you're asked to call the FBI or 911 - you could earn a $10,000 reward.
 

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