Cockpit laser flasher charged

by on January 4th, 2005–laserbeam-aircraf0104jan04,0,6845841.story?coll=ny-region-apnewjersey

NEWARK, N.J. — Federal authorities on Tuesday used their strongest anti-terror law to charge a Parsippany man with pointing a laser at an airplane, temporarily blinding the pilot and co-pilot. His lawyer said the man simply was using the device to look at stars with his daughter.

The defendant, David Banach, 38, first claimed his daughter aimed a laser at a helicopter, but later admitted to federal agents that he pointed the light beam at two aircraft near Teterboro Airport last week, authorities said.

He was charged Tuesday with interfering with the operator of a mass transportation vehicle and making false statements to the FBI. He faces up to 25 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000 if convicted.

Etalkinghead Staff