Coasties Seek Person in Laser Attack on their Aircraft

Lasers

Lasers. [Image by Netweb01 via Wikicommons]

Press release from the Coast Guard:

The Coast Guard is asking the public for tips or information regarding recent laser attacks aimed against rescue helicopter crews.

The latest attack occurred Tuesday evening near the Arcata-Eureka airport as an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay was conducting a practice instrument approach.

The helicopter was southeast of the airport when a green laser coming from a wooded area about three miles east of McKinleyville, was shined directly at the aircraft. The pilots quickly landed so the crew members could receive medical checkups.

β€œLaser attacks against aircraft are a crime because of the danger they present to aviators and the public,” said Capt. Greg Fuller, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay. β€œOur aircrews put their own lives on the line on a daily basis to save others in distress. These laser incidents significantly impact our ability to respond and we ask the public’s help in identifying the sources.”

It is a federal crime, as well as a violation of California state law to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft. Punishment under state law ranges from civil penalties of $1,000 up to $2,000 and three years imprisonment. Federal law allows for a punishment of imprisonment of up to five years.

Lasers, including common laser pointers, can cause glare, flash blindness, temporary loss of night vision and more permanent damage such as blind spots, cataracts and partial or total loss of visual acuity.

The Coast Guard encourages anyone who sees someone lasing any aircraft to call 911 to report the crime immediately.

Information about some California aviation laser incidents, including arrests and convictions of laser aircraft attackers, can be seen here: http://laserpointersafety.com/news/news/aviation-incidents_files/tag-california.php

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24 comments

  • That’s messed up

  • They know it’s a crime,that’s why these dumb shits do it.so childish,grow up!!

  • DONT DO THE CRIME UNLESS YOU CAN DO THE TIME. SINCE IT WAS A FEDERAL CHOPPER ITS A FEDERAL BEEF. THINK HOW GOOD YOU WILL FEEL AFTER 5 YRS. IN A FEDERAL PEN, GOLF SWIMMING POOLS, [edit] ITS A GOOD LIFE.

  • F ing idiots! Coasties RULE! Not to mention they save lives, maybe yours some day. Actually I hope they don’t!!!!!

  • Immature. But they will mature in prison.

  • No doubt they were all hopped up on marijuana.

  • Maybe it’s time to rig up those flying machines in the James Bond fashion, like adjustable mirrors to reflect the laser right back to them.

  • Maybe they can get reflective windshields so the lasers won’t blind them!πŸ˜†

    • They shouldn’t have to as they are not a combat unit!!! I could see that if they were in a combat situation to prevent the enemy from doing what these Numb Skulls did!!!

      • I hate to break this to you Dan Fuller, but times have changed. The communists (antifa) have declared war. Columbus Day was a big event day for them.
        The politicians love them, because the politicians take all. They get the mansions, the people get the tarps. They’ve step by stepped this for decades but now that people are awakening, they’ve beefed it up.

        • But one doesn’t have to have a political/social agenda to buy a laser pointer and be stupid with it.

          I was a physics student in the 1970s with a very early laser and I spent some time pointing it at the moon to see if I could see where it hit. It never occured to me that I might hit something else and it might have consequences.

          • an educated individual would never do this. they also make dangerous cat toys.

            • It was not uncommon in the days when only very educated people (physics department at a university) even knew what a laser was much less had one.

  • The danger is the light amplifying night vision goggles night flying crews wear, they gather small bits of starlight and amplify it. So when a super bright source hits those, like a laser, the extreme light is magnified hundreds of times right into their eyes,which have widened in the lack of light, and can suffer corneal burns that can be permanent damage…

  • Pretty sure this is not the first time its happened. Seems there has been stories about this in the past.

  • 3 miles east of Central puts you on Old Railroad Grade. this shouldn’t be that hard.

  • Nothing happened but they all needed checkups immediately while all of us sit herr with no healthcare?
    Suck it up pansys . your fine. Next time fly on, you know the laser range isnt infinite.
    This is ridicilous im pisst this is the way you waste our taxmoney!
    Build the wall!

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