Laser Pointing at Aircraft Increasing

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in security on (#3GD)
story imageThe US FBI has been working with the FAA and the Air Line Pilots Association to crack down on people pointing lasers at aircraft. "Reported incidents of laser attacks on aircraft in flight in the US have increased more than 1,000 percent since 2005, according to the FAA, from 283 up to 3,960 in 2013 - an average of 11 incidents a day."

Per the Air Line Pilots Association, " reports of aircraft laser illuminations in the U.S. have increased sharply over the past few years from 2836 in 2010 to 3,960 last year."

Sergio Patrick Rodriguez, 26, now has the dubious distinction of being sentenced to "14 years in federal prison, a term prosecutors believe to be among [California's] longest for such a crime." Rodriguez's gang membership and criminal record were likely factors in his sentence, as was using a laser that is called 13 times more powerful than most laser pointers.

Has anyone seen this happen? Or experienced it as a pilot or aircraft passenger?

So many conflicts (Score: 3, Insightful)

by sleazyridr@pipedot.org on 2014-03-19 14:30 (#PA)

On the one hand, I'm excited about the fact that I can buy a very powerful laser quite cheaply. On the other hand, I'm terrified that everyone else can buy a powerful laser quite cheaply.

On the one hand, I'm glad that an offense that could lead to a plane crash and loss of many lives is being dealt with. On the other hand, I'm disappointed that it's being used as a cheap way to slap someone the cops didn't like but couldn't directly pin anything to.

On the one hand, pointing lasers at aircraft can be very serious and should be discouraged as actively as possible. On the other hand, 14 years seems like a very long sentence for someone who probably didn't understand that he was doing something so very dangerous.
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What is twelve thousand eight hundred and thirty nine as a number?