Steadily Increasing Laser Light Incidents Increase Pilots’ Need For Laser Protective Eyewear

Pilots face numerous challenges in a highly complicated job where many people’s lives often depend on their ability to perform under pressure. One area of increasing concern is laser illumination incidents affecting commercial, police, and military aircraft. Laser lights cause operational hazards for pilots and place lives in danger. The ability of laser light to travel long distances without losing intensity is not only distracting to pilots, but can also cause eye damage. The most effective way to combat the negative effects of laser light when flying is laser protective eyewear for pilots.

The increase of laser light shows at outdoor entertainment venues and the increasing affordability of laser pointers and green laser lights have caused laser illumination occurrences to increase steadily each year. Statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration show continuous increases in of reported incidents since 2005. In 2011, the number of incidents jumped up to 3,592 from 2,836 in 2010. As of September 2015, reported laser incidents numbered over 3,700, averaging 16 strikes per day.

What happens during a laser illumination incident? 

These instances occur most frequently during takeoff and landing, in locations near airports or on flight paths. According to the FAA, half of the reported incidents occur within 5,000 feet of the ground, with the highest number of incidents in the United States along the west coast. This problem is not strictly limited to the United States, however, as many countries around the world have experienced trouble from laser illumination.

There is no warning when a laser illumination incident occurs-the flight deck is suddenly filled with a bright light, causing a glare that interrupts concentration and inhibits the pilot’s perception of the ground and runway. This can cause a pilot to miss the runway or be diverted to another airport.

How does laser light affect the eyes?

Several variables change how the eye is affected. Power level of the laser, duration of exposure, and the wavelength of the light all impact the negative affects of laser light on the eye. Green laser light is also far more damaging than red laser light, appearing 30 times brighter to the human eye. According to the FAA, most incidents involve handheld green laser pointers.

Boeing explains that visible laser light is magnified once it enters the optical system, targeting the retina of the eye. The mildest form of laser light causes glares that temporarily impair a pilot’s vision, and at long distances this is usually just an annoyance. However, when the light is stronger or the pilot is flying closer to the source, this annoyance escalates into the inability to see landmarks and even the instrument panel right in front of them. Strong light can also cause flash blindness, which causes the pilot to lose their vision for a brief period of time ranging from few seconds to a few minutes. Afterimages often occur from very strong laser light exposure, resulting in colored dots appearing in front of a pilot’s eyes for a brief time. Serious retinal damage is a possibility if the pilot is exposed to very powerful laser lights in close proximity. This causes burned retinal tissue, resulting in permanent blind spots in a pilot’s vision.

Criminal Offense

In the United States, “lasing” an aircraft is a criminal offense. In addition to criminal charges, there is also a hefty civil penalty-a fine up to $11,000 per incident. The FAA has taken action against many individuals who have been caught using laser lights to interfere with the operation of an aircraft. Here are several instances in which laser illumination has interfered with pilot’s operating aircraft, and in many cases has caused physical damage to the pilots’ eyes:

  • New York City, 2015. Frank Egan, a man living in The Bronx along La Guardia’s flight path, was arrested for using a commercial-grade, level 3 green laser to point at five different commercial flights. He was caught when NYPD detectives used a helicopter to mimic an aircraft carrier, luring Egan to point his laser at them. They then honed in on the specific window the laser was originating from and found the suspect. Three pilots and both detectives suffered from eye injuries.
  • Vacaville, California, 2015. David Charles Fanning was arrested for shining a laser light at a Southwest Airlines jet preparing for landing at Sacramento airport. Fanning was caught by California Highway Patrol officers when he shined his light at their plane.
  • Virginia Beach, 2012. Robert Bruce was sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison and a $4,000 fine after pointing a laser light at a passing Navy jet. Reports state that he had previously made 21 phone calls to Oceana’s Flight Operations and Noise Concerns line complaining about the noise from jets and threatening violence.
  • Sydney, Australia, 2008. Six aircraft arriving at Sydney Airport were hit in a coordinated attack using blinding green laser lights. No injuries were reported, but air traffic controllers had to divert the flights to different runways. In light of increasing attacks using laser lights, increased penalties to include a possible two years jail time and $30,000 in fines.

Protection for Pilots

Pilots are taught many steps to take if they are affected by laser light. Although many of these procedural changes are efficient-averting eyes, engaging autopilot, executing a missed approach, using autoland, increasing the brightness of interior lights-the most effective measure is protective eyewear. Protective eyewear ensures that a pilot’s eyes are shielded during any laser strike. Well-designed protective eyewear also allows the pilot to clearly see illumination on their control panel without distortion. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about laser protective eyewear for pilots.

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Steadily Increasing Laser Light Incidents Increase Pilots’ Need For Laser Protective Eyewear

Pilots face numerous challenges in a highly complicated job where many people’s lives often depend on their ability to perform under pressure. One area of increasing concern is laser illumination incidents affecting commercial, police, and military aircraft. Laser lights cause operational hazards for pilots and place lives in danger. The ability of laser light to travel long distances without losing intensity is not only distracting to pilots, but can also cause eye damage. The most effective way to combat the negative effects of laser light when flying is laser protective eyewear for pilots.

The increase of laser light shows at outdoor entertainment venues and the increasing affordability of laser pointers and green laser lights have caused laser illumination occurrences to increase steadily each year. Statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration show continuous increases in of reported incidents since 2005. In 2011, the number of incidents jumped up to 3,592 from 2,836 in 2010. As of September 2015, reported laser incidents numbered over 3,700, averaging 16 strikes per day.

What happens during a laser illumination incident? 

These instances occur most frequently during takeoff and landing, in locations near airports or on flight paths. According to the FAA, half of the reported incidents occur within 5,000 feet of the ground, with the highest number of incidents in the United States along the west coast. This problem is not strictly limited to the United States, however, as many countries around the world have experienced trouble from laser illumination.

There is no warning when a laser illumination incident occurs-the flight deck is suddenly filled with a bright light, causing a glare that interrupts concentration and inhibits the pilot’s perception of the ground and runway. This can cause a pilot to miss the runway or be diverted to another airport.

How does laser light affect the eyes?

Several variables change how the eye is affected. Power level of the laser, duration of exposure, and the wavelength of the light all impact the negative affects of laser light on the eye. Green laser light is also far more damaging than red laser light, appearing 30 times brighter to the human eye. According to the FAA, most incidents involve handheld green laser pointers.

Boeing explains that visible laser light is magnified once it enters the optical system, targeting the retina of the eye. The mildest form of laser light causes glares that temporarily impair a pilot’s vision, and at long distances this is usually just an annoyance. However, when the light is stronger or the pilot is flying closer to the source, this annoyance escalates into the inability to see landmarks and even the instrument panel right in front of them. Strong light can also cause flash blindness, which causes the pilot to lose their vision for a brief period of time ranging from few seconds to a few minutes. Afterimages often occur from very strong laser light exposure, resulting in colored dots appearing in front of a pilot’s eyes for a brief time. Serious retinal damage is a possibility if the pilot is exposed to very powerful laser lights in close proximity. This causes burned retinal tissue, resulting in permanent blind spots in a pilot’s vision.

Criminal Offense

In the United States, “lasing” an aircraft is a criminal offense. In addition to criminal charges, there is also a hefty civil penalty-a fine up to $11,000 per incident. The FAA has taken action against many individuals who have been caught using laser lights to interfere with the operation of an aircraft. Here are several instances in which laser illumination has interfered with pilot’s operating aircraft, and in many cases has caused physical damage to the pilots’ eyes:

  • New York City, 2015. Frank Egan, a man living in The Bronx along La Guardia’s flight path, was arrested for using a commercial-grade, level 3 green laser to point at five different commercial flights. He was caught when NYPD detectives used a helicopter to mimic an aircraft carrier, luring Egan to point his laser at them. They then honed in on the specific window the laser was originating from and found the suspect. Three pilots and both detectives suffered from eye injuries.
  • Vacaville, California, 2015. David Charles Fanning was arrested for shining a laser light at a Southwest Airlines jet preparing for landing at Sacramento airport. Fanning was caught by California Highway Patrol officers when he shined his light at their plane.
  • Virginia Beach, 2012. Robert Bruce was sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison and a $4,000 fine after pointing a laser light at a passing Navy jet. Reports state that he had previously made 21 phone calls to Oceana’s Flight Operations and Noise Concerns line complaining about the noise from jets and threatening violence.
  • Sydney, Australia, 2008. Six aircraft arriving at Sydney Airport were hit in a coordinated attack using blinding green laser lights. No injuries were reported, but air traffic controllers had to divert the flights to different runways. In light of increasing attacks using laser lights, increased penalties to include a possible two years jail time and $30,000 in fines.

Protection for Pilots

Pilots are taught many steps to take if they are affected by laser light. Although many of these procedural changes are efficient-averting eyes, engaging autopilot, executing a missed approach, using autoland, increasing the brightness of interior lights-the most effective measure is protective eyewear. Protective eyewear ensures that a pilot’s eyes are shielded during any laser strike. Well-designed protective eyewear also allows the pilot to clearly see illumination on their control panel without distortion. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about laser protective eyewear for pilots.

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Steadily Increasing Laser Light Incidents Increase Pilots’ Need For Laser Protective Eyewear

Pilots face numerous challenges in a highly complicated job where many people’s lives often depend on their ability to perform under pressure. One area of increasing concern is laser illumination incidents affecting commercial, police, and military aircraft. Laser lights cause operational hazards for pilots and place lives in danger. The ability of laser light to travel long distances without losing intensity is not only distracting to pilots, but can also cause eye damage. The most effective way to combat the negative effects of laser light when flying is laser protective eyewear for pilots.

The increase of laser light shows at outdoor entertainment venues and the increasing affordability of laser pointers and green laser lights have caused laser illumination occurrences to increase steadily each year. Statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration show continuous increases in of reported incidents since 2005. In 2011, the number of incidents jumped up to 3,592 from 2,836 in 2010. As of September 2015, reported laser incidents numbered over 3,700, averaging 16 strikes per day.

What happens during a laser illumination incident? 

These instances occur most frequently during takeoff and landing, in locations near airports or on flight paths. According to the FAA, half of the reported incidents occur within 5,000 feet of the ground, with the highest number of incidents in the United States along the west coast. This problem is not strictly limited to the United States, however, as many countries around the world have experienced trouble from laser illumination.

There is no warning when a laser illumination incident occurs-the flight deck is suddenly filled with a bright light, causing a glare that interrupts concentration and inhibits the pilot’s perception of the ground and runway. This can cause a pilot to miss the runway or be diverted to another airport.

How does laser light affect the eyes?

Several variables change how the eye is affected. Power level of the laser, duration of exposure, and the wavelength of the light all impact the negative affects of laser light on the eye. Green laser light is also far more damaging than red laser light, appearing 30 times brighter to the human eye. According to the FAA, most incidents involve handheld green laser pointers.

Boeing explains that visible laser light is magnified once it enters the optical system, targeting the retina of the eye. The mildest form of laser light causes glares that temporarily impair a pilot’s vision, and at long distances this is usually just an annoyance. However, when the light is stronger or the pilot is flying closer to the source, this annoyance escalates into the inability to see landmarks and even the instrument panel right in front of them. Strong light can also cause flash blindness, which causes the pilot to lose their vision for a brief period of time ranging from few seconds to a few minutes. Afterimages often occur from very strong laser light exposure, resulting in colored dots appearing in front of a pilot’s eyes for a brief time. Serious retinal damage is a possibility if the pilot is exposed to very powerful laser lights in close proximity. This causes burned retinal tissue, resulting in permanent blind spots in a pilot’s vision.

Criminal Offense

In the United States, “lasing” an aircraft is a criminal offense. In addition to criminal charges, there is also a hefty civil penalty-a fine up to $11,000 per incident. The FAA has taken action against many individuals who have been caught using laser lights to interfere with the operation of an aircraft. Here are several instances in which laser illumination has interfered with pilot’s operating aircraft, and in many cases has caused physical damage to the pilots’ eyes:

  • New York City, 2015. Frank Egan, a man living in The Bronx along La Guardia’s flight path, was arrested for using a commercial-grade, level 3 green laser to point at five different commercial flights. He was caught when NYPD detectives used a helicopter to mimic an aircraft carrier, luring Egan to point his laser at them. They then honed in on the specific window the laser was originating from and found the suspect. Three pilots and both detectives suffered from eye injuries.
  • Vacaville, California, 2015. David Charles Fanning was arrested for shining a laser light at a Southwest Airlines jet preparing for landing at Sacramento airport. Fanning was caught by California Highway Patrol officers when he shined his light at their plane.
  • Virginia Beach, 2012. Robert Bruce was sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison and a $4,000 fine after pointing a laser light at a passing Navy jet. Reports state that he had previously made 21 phone calls to Oceana’s Flight Operations and Noise Concerns line complaining about the noise from jets and threatening violence.
  • Sydney, Australia, 2008. Six aircraft arriving at Sydney Airport were hit in a coordinated attack using blinding green laser lights. No injuries were reported, but air traffic controllers had to divert the flights to different runways. In light of increasing attacks using laser lights, increased penalties to include a possible two years jail time and $30,000 in fines.

Protection for Pilots

Pilots are taught many steps to take if they are affected by laser light. Although many of these procedural changes are efficient-averting eyes, engaging autopilot, executing a missed approach, using autoland, increasing the brightness of interior lights-the most effective measure is protective eyewear. Protective eyewear ensures that a pilot’s eyes are shielded during any laser strike. Well-designed protective eyewear also allows the pilot to clearly see illumination on their control panel without distortion. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about laser protective eyewear for pilots.

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Steadily Increasing Laser Light Incidents Increase Pilots’ Need For Laser Protective Eyewear

Pilots face numerous challenges in a highly complicated job where many people’s lives often depend on their ability to perform under pressure. One area of increasing concern is laser illumination incidents affecting commercial, police, and military aircraft. Laser lights cause operational hazards for pilots and place lives in danger. The ability of laser light to travel long distances without losing intensity is not only distracting to pilots, but can also cause eye damage. The most effective way to combat the negative effects of laser light when flying is laser protective eyewear for pilots.

The increase of laser light shows at outdoor entertainment venues and the increasing affordability of laser pointers and green laser lights have caused laser illumination occurrences to increase steadily each year. Statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration show continuous increases in of reported incidents since 2005. In 2011, the number of incidents jumped up to 3,592 from 2,836 in 2010. As of September 2015, reported laser incidents numbered over 3,700, averaging 16 strikes per day.

What happens during a laser illumination incident? 

These instances occur most frequently during takeoff and landing, in locations near airports or on flight paths. According to the FAA, half of the reported incidents occur within 5,000 feet of the ground, with the highest number of incidents in the United States along the west coast. This problem is not strictly limited to the United States, however, as many countries around the world have experienced trouble from laser illumination.

There is no warning when a laser illumination incident occurs-the flight deck is suddenly filled with a bright light, causing a glare that interrupts concentration and inhibits the pilot’s perception of the ground and runway. This can cause a pilot to miss the runway or be diverted to another airport.

How does laser light affect the eyes?

Several variables change how the eye is affected. Power level of the laser, duration of exposure, and the wavelength of the light all impact the negative affects of laser light on the eye. Green laser light is also far more damaging than red laser light, appearing 30 times brighter to the human eye. According to the FAA, most incidents involve handheld green laser pointers.

Boeing explains that visible laser light is magnified once it enters the optical system, targeting the retina of the eye. The mildest form of laser light causes glares that temporarily impair a pilot’s vision, and at long distances this is usually just an annoyance. However, when the light is stronger or the pilot is flying closer to the source, this annoyance escalates into the inability to see landmarks and even the instrument panel right in front of them. Strong light can also cause flash blindness, which causes the pilot to lose their vision for a brief period of time ranging from few seconds to a few minutes. Afterimages often occur from very strong laser light exposure, resulting in colored dots appearing in front of a pilot’s eyes for a brief time. Serious retinal damage is a possibility if the pilot is exposed to very powerful laser lights in close proximity. This causes burned retinal tissue, resulting in permanent blind spots in a pilot’s vision.

Criminal Offense

In the United States, “lasing” an aircraft is a criminal offense. In addition to criminal charges, there is also a hefty civil penalty-a fine up to $11,000 per incident. The FAA has taken action against many individuals who have been caught using laser lights to interfere with the operation of an aircraft. Here are several instances in which laser illumination has interfered with pilot’s operating aircraft, and in many cases has caused physical damage to the pilots’ eyes:

  • New York City, 2015. Frank Egan, a man living in The Bronx along La Guardia’s flight path, was arrested for using a commercial-grade, level 3 green laser to point at five different commercial flights. He was caught when NYPD detectives used a helicopter to mimic an aircraft carrier, luring Egan to point his laser at them. They then honed in on the specific window the laser was originating from and found the suspect. Three pilots and both detectives suffered from eye injuries.
  • Vacaville, California, 2015. David Charles Fanning was arrested for shining a laser light at a Southwest Airlines jet preparing for landing at Sacramento airport. Fanning was caught by California Highway Patrol officers when he shined his light at their plane.
  • Virginia Beach, 2012. Robert Bruce was sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison and a $4,000 fine after pointing a laser light at a passing Navy jet. Reports state that he had previously made 21 phone calls to Oceana’s Flight Operations and Noise Concerns line complaining about the noise from jets and threatening violence.
  • Sydney, Australia, 2008. Six aircraft arriving at Sydney Airport were hit in a coordinated attack using blinding green laser lights. No injuries were reported, but air traffic controllers had to divert the flights to different runways. In light of increasing attacks using laser lights, increased penalties to include a possible two years jail time and $30,000 in fines.

Protection for Pilots

Pilots are taught many steps to take if they are affected by laser light. Although many of these procedural changes are efficient-averting eyes, engaging autopilot, executing a missed approach, using autoland, increasing the brightness of interior lights-the most effective measure is protective eyewear. Protective eyewear ensures that a pilot’s eyes are shielded during any laser strike. Well-designed protective eyewear also allows the pilot to clearly see illumination on their control panel without distortion. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about laser protective eyewear for pilots.

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