I’m happy to report that in my short time as a pilot, I’ve never been hit with a laser while flying. Nevertheless, there are idiots across the country who shine their insanely powerful green lasers at planes and helicopters. And apparently it’s pretty darn often. According to a posting from the Atlantic, there were over 2,800 “events” in 2009. I can only imagine as these high-powered lasers get cheaper each year, these numbers grow. I’ve always known it was illegal to do that, but apparently the fines and punishment can be VERY steep (up to 20 years jail and/or $250,000 fines).
What I think is pretty cool about this whole problem, is how amazingly quick and accurate the response from authorities can be. Check out this video (which shows IN REAL TIME) a police helicopter getting hit with a laser, them pinpointing the source, sending the cops, and arresting the idiot within like 2 minutes! Amazing stuff!
Any pilots have experience getting hit with a laser while flying/piloting?