WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News, Weather, Sports

Airplane and Laser Beam Dangers

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

There was quite a scare in the skies over Lexington last night. Now officials are searching for whoever pulled the prank, putting the lives of those on-board in danger.

Planes come and go frequently at the Bluegrass Airport, most without any trouble, but that wasn't the case for one commercial jetliner around eleven o'clock Tuesday evening.

As the plane was flying over Lexington preparing to land, the co-pilot was blinded by a laser for five to seven seconds.

Jon Zachem, a pilot himself, says he's heard of this before in other states.

"I've read of instances in Ohio and Texas and Florida. There's been arrests in all those states by the way. In New York City a police helicopter was hit by a laser and he had to make a landing in a park and they were able to arrest those people, so it seems to be more and more common", says Jon Zachem.

Zachem says, he's personally never heard of this laser situation in Lexington before, and while in this situation the plane landed safely, it is very dangerous for anyone to be flying an aircraft and be blinded.

"It can damage your retina. As long as there's two pilots in the cockpit though and it just hits one pilot, either of the pilots are perfectly capable of guiding the airplane on the ground safely. If there was more than one laser and it hit both pilots, it could be very dangerous", says Zachem.

This has prompted some people to take action.

"Some countries are outright banning it. I think the United Kingdom has restricted the sale of lasers and I think Australia is trying to have an outright ban on them, so they must think it's a problem', says Zachem.

If arrested for being part of a laser incident such as this, the person could face up to 25 years in prison.


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