The Federal Aviation Administration said there were 2,836 incidents involving laser pointers directed at aircraft in 2010, up from fewer than 300 in 2005. A man in Missouri temporarily blinded a pilot recently by pointing a laser pointer at a helicopter. The man received a night in jail and a year's probation. "If you've ever had another driver shine high beams on you at night, you know how blinding that can be when you're driving," said Dennis Baker, an FBI agent. "The lasers are even more intense for pilots."

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