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CLE FBI investigates lasers pointed at aircrafts

Posted: 9:56 AM, Sep 10, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-10 09:56:20-04

newsnet5.com told you earlier this week about a Metro Life Flight pilot that was briefly blinded when a laser was pointed at the aircraft he was flying. 

Now, the Cleveland Division of the FBI says they are investigating as many as five laser strikes over Labor Day weekend. 

According to the Cleveland FBI, a medical helicopter and a commercial airliner experienced laser hits on Friday.

On Saturday, a laser was aimed at a medical helicopter while it was leaving the Youngstown area, headed toward Cleveland. 

A similar incident happened Sunday.

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Also on Sunday, a commercial aircraft experienced a laser strike after takeoff from Cleveland Hopkins International airport.

The Cleveland FBI states that, while aircraft laser strikes are down from 2014, it's still important to keep in mind the consequences that can come from pointing a laser at a helicopter, airplane or jet.

According to the FBI, the main hazard from these lasers is that pilots can be distracted or temporarily flash-blinded by the light from the beam.

At aviation distances, a tiny dot can become very large. For example, a 2-centimeter beam can spread to become approximately 6-feet of light, blocking the pilot's vision. 

All laser strikes are investigated by local and federal law enforcement. Anyone who knowingly aims a laser at an aircraft can face up to five years in jail and/or a maximum $11,000 fine. 

If you see someone pointing a laser at an aircraft, you are asked to call your local law enforcement agency. If you have any knowledge about the laser strikes over Labor Day weekend, you are asked to call the Cleveland FBI at 216-522-1400.

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