Lasers are becoming more ubiquitous in our daily life, which is great for strong proponents of laser tag (who tend to be 11 years old) but not so much for pilots. In fact, people shooting lasers at airplanes and helicopters has gotten so bad, the FBI has created a special task force to deal with it.
The number of incidents is growing at a rate that led federal air marshal George Johnson to call it "epidemic." In 2005, there were 283 incidents. This year, 3,700 are expected.
So the FBI has created the "Laser Strike Working Group National Initiative." LSWGNI? Here's hoping that becomes the acronym.
In 2011, a Boston court sentenced a 52-year-old man to three years in jail for shining a laser at planes in the area. In general, you can receive up to five years in prison and up to an $11,000 fine.
The lasers can temporarily blind, disorient and distract the pilot. Which, frankly, given my already innate fear of flying, doesn't do anything to make me feel safer up there.
So just freaking stop. Please.
You'll probably get caught anyway. Take a look at the video below.
Via ars technica