FBI Launching Task Force to Combat Spike in Laser Pointers Aimed at Pilots
(NEW YORK) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation is launching an anti-terror task force to combat a spike in incidents of laser pointers being aimed at airplane pilots. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, nearly 32,000 incidents have been reported nationwide this year, up from just a few hundred in 2004.
The incidents range from small airport to big cities. In 2012, a Jet Blue pilot was temporarily blinded while preparing to land at Kennedy International Airport.
Former Managing Director at the National Transportation Safety Board and ABC News consultant Peter Goelz said, "It can go from everything from just scaring you and startling you at a critical moment of flight to actually injuring your vision."
According to FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko, laser interference is a felony.
"Interfering with a flight crew is a federal crime, so the FBI has looked into many of these laser incidents over the last several years. We've located some of them, arrested, several have been prosecuted," Kolko said.
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