Mollie Halpern: The number of reported laser attacks on aircrafts is soaring.
George Johnson: This is almost becoming an epidemic.
Halpern: I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau and this is FBI, This Week. Pointing a laser at an aircraft is called “shining.” The number of shining incidents in the U.S. this year is projected to be 3,700- compared to just 283 incidents in 2005.
A law put into effect this year makes shining a federal offense punishable by up to five years behind bars and up to $11,000 in fines per incident. George Johnson is a supervisory federal air marshal who serves as a liaison officer with the FBI…
Johnson: Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is dangerous and reckless, just don’t do it.
Halpern: Captain Robert Hamilton of the Air line Pilots Association International has been lased more than once. He explains why shining is so dangerous for those in the cockpit and on the ground.
Robert Hamilton: I had temporary blindness, my eyes were burning, it caused disorientation.