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B6 Pilot Injured By Laser Beam On Approach To JFK  
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1950 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 9 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 10174 times:

This is probably the 8th or 9th thread we start here talking about this issue. Probably the low chances for authorities to really punish this kind of behavior is an incentive for the owner of the sick brain and the laser, who think that it's "funny" trying to incapacitate a pilot in charge of landing a jet full of people.

This time was Jetblue 657, a E190 jet from Syracuse to JFK. Fortunately the injuries for the pilot´s eye were minor apparently and should not affect his career.

More info :

http://avherald.com/h?article=452c18ad&opt=0

Rgds.
G.


80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18675 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 10166 times:

I know very little about optics, but is there some way to design a coating for cockpit windows that would specifically block highly collimated beams of light without altering the view too much?

User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1950 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 10047 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
I know very little about optics, but is there some way to design a coating for cockpit windows that would specifically block highly collimated beams of light without altering the view too much?

I don't have an answer to your question, but I guess, if possible, will be expensive and slow. I think that creating some database for registration of the people who buys high energy laser beams could help, but probably will create some privacy issues. The laser beam required for this "joke" is not the small pointer for the classroom, probably are higher energy devices used in other fields. AFAIK today anyone can buy one of this and use this things without any kind or restriction or control.

Rgds.
G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9893 times:

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
the low chances for authorities to really punish this kind of behavior is an incentive for the owner of the sick brain and the laser, who think that it's "funny" trying to incapacitate a pilot in charge of landing a jet full of people

Assuming that is the reason. I expect that many times there is nothing malicious behind it. Just trying to find if the laser can reach all the way to the plane. No-one reads warning labels.


User currently offlinefalkerker From Seychelles, joined Apr 2012, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9851 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 3):
Just trying to find if the laser can reach all the way to the plane

I think if they´re trying to see that then they have pin-point accuracy on getting the laser directly to the pilot's eye. Then again I don't think someone would knowingly direct a laser at a pilot on approach but one never knows.

On the scientific part, AFAIK (I'm a practicing physician though not ophthalmologist), laser beams damage the retina depending on the exposure time not the potency of the beam itself so as long as the pilot moves his/her head slightly, no problem, I would worry more about the distraction rather than the risk of sequealae. After all, nowadays many ophthalmologic procedures are done using different types of laser (argon, CO2, Erbium, YAG) without any consequence to the retina or posterior chamber structures (lens).


User currently onlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2846 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9737 times:

Well, unfortunately, we all saw this coming at some point considering the number of laser reports lately. Luckily the pilot is okay although I wonder if there is possible damage to his vision.

I doubt they will ever find the idiot that did this (unless he/she is dumb enough to do it again in the same area), but if they do I really do hope they don't go easy on him/her.



"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1950 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9724 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 3):
Just trying to find if the laser can reach all the way to the plane. No-one reads warning labels.

Well, then we have a case of extreme stupidity instead of evilness. If I have a device and I want to see how powerful it is, the "reasonable" way to find an answer is to point the thing to structures ( like a tall building roof or antenna or similar ) where you can actually measure ( or calculate with Google Earth or other similar tool ) the distances you can reach from your position. Pointing out the thing to a plane that you can't find how far is from your position is useless, and not knowing that the device you are using can cause damages to others makes that person an absolute moron, sorry. Even in the case that a kid was doing it, then, the parents of the kid are absolute morons, since the kid could end being blind or seriously injured. The excuse of the people not reading the Warning labels is not enough.
Sorry, but here we can have only two options, or is it a criminal with bad intentions, or a brainless moron that is unable to measure the consequences of his/her actions. One way or the other, it is a threat to society.

Rgds.

G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1950 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 9390 times:

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the fact that the big majority of this attacks ( that's what it is, an attack ) were against jets has prevented worse consequences. A ( turboprop ) commuter plane usually needs lower speeds on approach, and is more vulnerable to a sustained attack from ground with this devices.... in a worst case scenario, the outcome could be much more tragic.

Rgds.
G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlinetraindoc From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 337 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 9004 times:

It would be nice to prevent this type of criminal idiocy, as one day maybe there will be a crash on approach. The problem with prevention is this: In designing a "fool proof" system it is easy to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools!      

User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8090 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8983 times:

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 5):
but if they do I really do hope they don't go easy on him/her.

I wouldn't mind if they called it an "act of terror" and shipped them off to Gitmo. That's just me, though.



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8959 times:

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 6):

Well, then we have a case of extreme stupidity instead of evilness.

That's what I would assume but I don't know zip about this. How does a laser from the ground even get into the cockpit? Seems like trying to hit the backside of a wall with a tennis ball. Do most laser incidents arrests involve people that knew what they were doing?



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinetraindoc From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 337 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8832 times:

To Maverick

Unfortunately, most all of these incidents are deliberate. Several years ago the Fed's arrested someone from northern NJ who had deliberately pointed a high power laser at a plane enroute/departing EWR. They tracked him down by back tracking from the point of attack on the plane, if I recall the event correctly. I believe the perp tried to say it was not intentional, but no one bought that story.


User currently offlineNASBWI From Bahamas, joined Feb 2005, 1286 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8486 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 10):
Do most laser incidents arrests involve people that knew what they were doing?

In the age of information, during a time where these incidents are happening more frequently, crying "ignorance" is more than likely going to fall on deaf ears. These incidents are reported on the news, and also posted on popular sites for the amateur videographer (youtube anyone?). So for someone to take a powerful light source, and direct it at the flight deck of an airplane, then claim they didn't know what could happen sounds more than a "little" suspect. To the average person reading this (for the umpteenth time), it can only be hoped-for that the culprits be caught, brought to justice, and taught to learn a little respect for the term 'consequence'.



Fierce, Fabulous, and Flawless ;)
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18675 posts, RR: 58
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8433 times:

Quoting falkerker (Reply 4):
On the scientific part, AFAIK (I'm a practicing physician though not ophthalmologist), laser beams damage the retina depending on the exposure time not the potency of the beam itself so as long as the pilot moves his/her head slightly, no problem, I would worry more about the distraction rather than the risk of sequealae. After all, nowadays many ophthalmologic procedures are done using different types of laser (argon, CO2, Erbium, YAG) without any consequence to the retina or posterior chamber structures (lens).

I, too, am a practicing physician and also not an ophthalmologist.

Damage to the retina and other structures in the eye depends on both energy, time of exposure, and the frequency of the light. The ophthalmologic lasers are specifically tuned to interact with certain structures (blood vessels, retina, vitreous) based on wavelength.

A low-power laser will cause no damage, but above a certain threshold, damage will occur assuming that the frequency in use interacts with a structure in the eye. It's a matter of how long the laser is pointed in the eye. If it's a very powerful laser, then the eye is toast even with a brief exposure. Fortunately, such lasers do not exist in handheld devices. However, less powerful lasers can cause damage depending on time of exposure.

In this case, I agree with you that it is unlikely that there would be any sequelae from a handheld laser at a distance like this. The time and intensity would be too low. That said, it could temporarily blind the pilot, even for a few seconds, which is enough to cause an accident (or at least a deviation) under the right (or wrong) circumstances.


User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4867 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8361 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):

Doc, I am a practicing polymath and also not an opthalmolo..whatever.

My educated guess:

There is no way you can aim a handheld laser beam at a human eye a mile away moving at 200 mph. Since the beam is small and collimated the lit area will move at relative transverse velocity of the target. If you happen to be in the flight path perhaps you could score a hit, as the target would be moving directly at you.

My guess is that the attacker lined up the pilot with a telescopic sight - still no small feat at a target moving that fast.

Cheers!

Comorin


User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21080 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8309 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 14):
My guess is that the attacker lined up the pilot with a telescopic sight - still no small feat at a target moving that fast.

At 7,000 feet, it should be pretty easy to keep a track on an airliner, especially when you have a long time to see how it's moving.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4867 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7940 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
Quoting comorin (Reply 14):
My guess is that the attacker lined up the pilot with a telescopic sight - still no small feat at a target moving that fast.

At 7,000 feet, it should be pretty easy to keep a track on an airliner, especially when you have a long time to see how it's moving.

-Mir

Would that not depend on the radius of the beam? Parallel beam = no inverse square law?


User currently offlinetraindoc From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 337 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7895 times:

I happen to have a high power laser, it comes from an early professional grade laser printer. (Gift from a brother in law.) Clearly, I don't point it at people, cars, planes, etc. If I point the beam at my hand you can definitely feel heat on your skin. Lasers maintain their energy over long distances, which is why the US military is developing them as weapons. This is also why they can cause eye damage over quite a distance.

I am also a physician and I can say unequivocally that YOU CANNOT CURE STUPID!


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4755 posts, RR: 43
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7836 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
At 7,000 feet, it should be pretty easy to keep a track on an airliner, especially when you have a long time to see how it's moving.

Or, in the majority of cases, the "attack" was when the aircraft was on approach to an airport. In that instance, every 90 seconds or so, an aircraft will be in the exact same place, at exactly the specified time. Not hard to adjust your aim, until you are dead-nuts on.

There was a recurring case in YYZ. The "attacker" was eventually found, as he did it often, and as local pilots know the area, they could direct police ... and the young lad was still "attacking" when caught.

He was/is charged with attempted murder, and even though less than 18 years old, he will spend a lot of time in confinement. The general consensus was that this gentleman should be dealt with in the same way as kids that drop rocks off of bridges onto cars .... "just to see what happens".



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinemcoatc From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 180 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7811 times:

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...0120327_1_laser-airtran-flight-oia

This should answer questions as to how "accidental" these occurrences are, and whether or not it is possible to hit a cockpit moving at 200 + knots. I can't say I know how they do it, but obviously it can be easily done.

We worked with the feds for several months to get this guy, who ironically lives on the same block as a couple other MCO controllers. This was shortly after a teenager was arrested for the exact same thing. Just as an example of sharp these useless members of society are, the kid actually lasered the police helicopter circling overhead looking for him.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8198 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7747 times:

There should be a special federal death penalty for this crime. Other thought, there might be a sensor able to localize the origin of such a beam. Then the anti-laser strike force could go to the persons involved and take care of them. JMO.

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16927 posts, RR: 48
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7682 times:

Quoting NASBWI (Reply 12):
In the age of information, during a time where these incidents are happening more frequently, crying "ignorance" is more than likely going to fall on deaf ears.
Quoting traindoc (Reply 11):
I believe the perp tried to say it was not intentional, but no one bought that story.

I think you're overestimating the intelligence of the general population. I could see just a few kids/stoners sitting around thinking about what to point their laser at, without thinking about the consequences.

Quoting traindoc (Reply 17):

I happen to have a high power laser, it comes from an early professional grade laser printer.

How does this get into the cockpit? Wouldn't it have to go around the fuselage then back into the cockpit?



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinespiritair97 From United States of America, joined Jan 2011, 1231 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7636 times:

Where this happened wa right near my hone and Ican tell you that he was NOT at 7000 feet. Planes in the Deer Park VOR are between 2500-4000 feet. Either way, not that hard to hit with a laser light. What makes it dangerous though is that at this point the aircraft is still moving st about 280 knots, which can be difficult to handle if you lose vision in one (or god-forbid) both eyes.

User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1950 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7636 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 18):
There was a recurring case in YYZ. The "attacker" was eventually found, as he did it often, and as local pilots know the area, they could direct police ... and the young lad was still "attacking" when caught.

He was/is charged with attempted murder, and even though less than 18 years old, he will spend a lot of time in confinement. The general consensus was that this gentleman should be dealt with in the same way as kids that drop rocks off of bridges onto cars .... "just to see what happens".

Sadly sometimes the law is on the side of the attacker and not with the victims. Here in Chile we had a couple of cases with DEAD people as result of this "game" of rock vs. car in the highway, and the "little kids" ( usually 14 or 15 y.o. ) are "punished" with a couple of days in a special facility and after that they return with the parents, because they can't be prosecuted at that age. When I suggest to my friends that this kind of behavior should be punished sending them a couple of years to a farm in a remote island in the Magellan Strait, to teach them about the hard conditions that life can have and give them some education, I am frequently called an "extremist", so in conclusion, the whole society is protecting this idiots.

The day we have a bus with 40 or 30 people crashing and leaving a path of death and destruction because "the kids were playing", maybe the laws will be modified.

I hope we never see a plane crashing into a populated area as a result of one attack like this and others, but considering that the aggression is usually during a critical phase of flight, with relatively low speeds and altitudes, I'm afraid that the chances exist ( remote, very remote, but exist ).

Rgds.
G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlineCorinthians From United States of America, joined May 2008, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7609 times:

Stupid question, but I know lots of pilots wear sunglasses, especially on approach. Do sunglasses mitigate the effects for the laser beam? Or is the thing powerful enough that it goes right through?

25 Gonzalo : I'm not sure, but my guess is yes. But, the big majority of this attacks occurs during dark hours, I don't even know if the attacker could see where
26 NorthStarDC4M : The question is how powerful and what wavelength was the laser. A typical >5mW red or green office pointer cannot do damage unless you look straigh
27 Gulfstream650 : Full ATC audio for this is at liveatc.net
28 Post contains links comorin : I found this interesting site that explains safety issues of lasers quite well. http://www.optique-ingenieur.org/en/...02/co/Grain_OPI_ang_M01_C02_1.h
29 hOmsaR : That's what I'm wondering. Some folks on here are talking about hand-held stuff that can cause minor damage, but how can someone holding it in their
30 NorthStarDC4M : Over distance Lasers do "spread" some, and holding the laser on the flight deck of an aircraft coming more or less along a straight line is doable. Al
31 DocLightning : It does't take great aim. In fact, I'm not even sure if a military-grade computer guidance system could score quite that direct of a hit. It takes gr
32 ZKSUJ : The majority happens at night so we don't really wear sunglasses. However, the sunglasses we wear are not allowed to be polarised so I don't know if
33 GSPSPOT : Punishment (should the culprits be found) should be swift & severe. As with murder, ignorance of the law is no excuse. If someone acquires one of
34 spacecadet : Well, as with any law. Civilization couldn't exist if people could break laws just because they don't know about them. Otherwise you could willfully
35 tugger : This could be stopped easily by simply encoding a unique identification number into the laser beam itself. It would be very easy to do. A law would l
36 BlueLine : While having a laser damage a pilot's vision is a major concern, to me, the bigger factor is the distraction it causes. I've had some jackasses shine
37 georgewall42 : At over 1 mile distant, this incident does not seem like it was caused by one of those 5mW green lasers you see for home astronomy use; there would be
38 art : True but people pointing lasers at aircraft are likely to know that they are doing something they should not be doing ie mens rea. The gravity of the
39 comorin : If a laser subtends its beam at 2 milliradians, that is equal to a lit area of about 2mx2m at 1000m. Even a 5mW laser produces very short pulses of g
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