Hello to You!
Every now and again we are blasted by a bright green light that fills the flight deck as we approach to land at night. This comes from laser beams and people pointed them directly at the cockpit during one of our most critical phases of flight. As you will watch on this news story above, these incidences are occurring more often.
Myself and the first officer were lit up one evening coming in for landing. We were just a few miles out from the runway. At those places and spaces in time, we are normally traveling nearly 300MPH. The entire cockpit became like a Christmas tree with a flashing green strobe. I was flying and the first officer exclaimed, “Ah!!”, (In pain and discomfort). As I continued on the approach, I asked if he was alright. He explained with a yes and laser. I told him to advice air traffic control of what happened and the general location. We landed without further incident and filed a safety report with the FAA, company, and union.
To my surprise, once I questioned them, several of my pilot friends shared that they too had been laser targeted. This is detrimental to a pilot because not only do we strongly rely on our accurate vision for our jobs, but we have hundreds of people counting on us to bring them safely to their destinations. If we cannot see to land, it could be catastrophic.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
As a passenger, if you look out your window as we are getting closer to landing and see a laser beam, please report it to us once we land. Make sure you give us your name, contact information, seat number, and location it originated from (as best as possible). We will advice the appropriate agencies so that they can intercept these actions.
The police agencies are now offering rewards for capturing these offenders. If you are on the ground and know of people doing these things, please call the local police and tell advise them. An arrest, and if found guilty, formal charges with jail time will be the punishment. In many cases, it is people or kids who think this is funny while having no idea the potential consequences of their actions. We can help spread the word!
Let’s keep the skies safe for all of us!
Wishing you Blue Skies and Smooth Flights,