Pranks and Worse

FAA gave "Blinded By the Light," an article in the July/August issue of FAA Aviation News, star treatment Aug. 18 on the agency's homepage. More than 2,600 lasing incidents have been reported to air traffic control and FAA System Operations -- 955 in 2008 alone -- representing a 270 percent increase since 2005, pilot and FAA Aviation News Associate Editor Tom Hoffman writes in the article.

He explains what pilots should do if they encounter a lasing incident during flight and provides a link to Aviation Circular 70-2, Reporting of Laser Illumination of Aircraft (go to, click Aviation Circulars, then search for 70-2).

A new e-mail address ([email protected]) and a new fax number (202-267-5289) for reporting incidents have been created, Hoffman reports. He also recommends that pilots check to learn more about safe practices.

Deliberate lasing is malicious and highly dangerous. My most serious experience of a similar nature occurred in 1978, when I was working as a counselor at a boys' home and one of them started a fire in our house around midnight on a cold winter evening; everyone escaped unharmed, but the house was destroyed. Have you ever been victimized by a prank, vandalism, or a more serious deliberate act that put you at risk?

Posted by Jerry Laws on Aug 19, 2009