LAX sees sharp spike in laser strikes

08/30/2010 | Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

Officials have reported 63 laser strikes around Los Angeles International Airport this year, more than any other airport in the U.S. Last week, two Coast Guard helicopters were forced to land after lasers were pointed at the pilots. One of the pilots couldn't see clearly for a few seconds after the incident, and officials noted that lasers have the potential to damage eyesight permanently. Officials also noted that the FAA has received more than 1,520 reports of laser strikes so far this year, up from nearly 1,500 reported in 2009 and just 300 in 2005. "We don't know if that's because pilots are becoming more diligent in reporting these incidents or because more people are engaging in this type of dangerous and irresponsible behavior," an FAA spokesman said.

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Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

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