Lasers aimed into airplane cockpits

by on December 30th, 2004

WASHINGTON — An FBI official said there have been six recent incidents involving laser beams being aimed into cockpits of commercial airliners.

A federal law enforcement official said the bureau is investigating one such report in Cleveland and two in Colorado Springs, Colo., as well as three others.

The first three took place on Monday, and all planes involved landed safely. There’s no word on when or where the other three incidents occurred, although the official indicated they all happened over the last four days.

In the Cleveland incident, authorities say a laser beam was directed into the cockpit of a commercial jet traveling 300 mph at more than 8,500 feet. The plane arriving from Washington, D.C., was about 15 miles from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport when the beam appeared. An FBI agent said it remained for several seconds, like the plane was being tracked.

The FBI is investigating whether it was a prank or whether there was another motive. Authorities said the laser had to have been fairly sophisticated to track a plane traveling at that altitude.

Etalkinghead Staff