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Thread: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

  1. #16
    Dunnilicious creek14's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    Since 1997 there have been over 200 reported incidents of laser being directed into the cockpits of aircraft.
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  3. #17
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    Creek, I'm curious: are you getting that from an open source like Defense News or Av Week? I'd like to dig a little deeper into this.
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  4. #18
    Dunnilicious creek14's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsland
    Creek, I'm curious: are you getting that from an open source like Defense News or Av Week? I'd like to dig a little deeper into this.
    Yeah it was open source and I gave a quick look to see if I could find it again before I posted. I didn't. I'll dig a little later this afternoon when I have more time.
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  5. #19
    Dunnilicious creek14's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

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  6. #20
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    I think the guy did a stupid and dangerous thing (or things, I think he probably did it more than once) and then just panicked.

    Guy plays around with his laser, says "wheeeeee, look, I can shine this on airplanes and see a green dot". Probably realizes its not a smart thing but what the hell, I'll stop if it gets anywhere serious. Next thing he knows, helicopters are flying overhead, FBI shows up on his doorstep, guy loses his mind, panicks, denies it first, then blames it on his daughter, and then finally admits to it. All very stupid, immature, foolish, and dangerous behavior.

    I hope they prosecute him to the appropriate degree of the law, scare the absolute bejesus out of the guy, and splash it all over the news. It sounds like this may be a growing trend and the general population needs to understand the severity of the danger this causes, that it is an extremely serious and dangerous matter, and not something to come anywhere close to.

    But in the end after all that, I don't think this guy is a criminal and I don't think he deserves getting locked up for 25 years. Fine him, put him on probation, do some community service like help educate people on the hazards of what he did, something like that. I don't think anything is gained by him serving hard time.

    FWIW, about 5-7 years ago, the big thing with kids were the red laser pointers. For about a summer, it was all the rage for kids to have these and shine them on all kinds of objects. My kids had a couple and we'd goof around with them shining them in the back yard on the lot line, make the cat chase the red dot, and other stupid stuff like that. I told the kids to never shine it any anyone, cars, etc.

    Pretty soon, kids started taking them to school, shining them on teachers, shining them on the screen at movie theatres, taking them to the mall, shined them on cops, and that's when the stuff hit the fan. Because it looked just like a laser pointer for a rifle. They got banned after that. The batteries wore out on ours and after hearing about what was happening with them, we allowed them to die a quiet death in the Tucker house.

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  7. #21
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    Quote Originally Posted by creek14
    Since 1997 there have been over 200 reported incidents of laser being directed into the cockpits of aircraft.
    I also read an article about a week ago stating that there were around 7 incidents over Christmas of this happening. One resulting in eye injury to a pilot.

    This guy should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He not only endangered the lives of everyone on that plane, but the lives of anyone on the ground where said plane may have crashed as a result of his actions. He's not a kid and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that you don't go shining a laser at an aircraft.

  8. #22
    Dunnilicious creek14's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkin Fan
    I also read an article about a week ago stating that there were around 7 incidents over Christmas of this happening. One resulting in eye injury to a pilot.
    Officials think that is due to copycats and pilots reporting it more often now that others are reporting.
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  9. #23
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    Thanks, creek. It's interesting that the article cited predates this recent surge by a year and a half or so and looked at only 16 states. Obviously this is not a new phenomenon.
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  10. #24
    Dunnilicious creek14's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsland
    Thanks, creek. It's interesting that the article cited predates this recent surge by a year and a half or so and looked at only 16 states. Obviously this is not a new phenomenon.
    That isn't the only place I saw it, that was just the easiest one to find quickly.
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  11. #25
    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    O.K., I'll agree that shining a laser at an airplane isn't the smartest thing in the world to do. On the other hand, I certainly don't think that there was any malicious intent on the part of the guy. I also think that the chances of blinding the pilots is incredibly remote, especially on purpose. Without a tripod and a scope, even managing to shine the laser on a plane that is, at the very least, over half a mile away and traveling at 300 mph is not very easy. Let alone trying to target the pilot's eyes.

    I loved this bit of sensationalism on the part of the reporter:
    The beam shoots from the pointer at 186,000 miles per second.
    Duh, speed of light!!!

  12. #26
    Dunnilicious creek14's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    You people do know that some (most??) of these laser incidents have been with industrial grade lasers (the big green ones) and not just those little penlight things you use to torment your cat. That might not be the case with this NJ guy, but it is with several others.

    BTW, those green lasers are 35x brighter than the red ones.
    Last edited by creek14; 01-05-2005 at 03:48 PM.
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  13. #27
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    I loved this bit of sensationalism on the part of the reporter
    I noticed that too. Hilarious! :MandJ:
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  14. #28
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Heeler
    Without a tripod and a scope, even managing to shine the laser on a plane that is, at the very least, over half a mile away and traveling at 300 mph is not very easy.
    Yet it happened at least 200 times over a six-year span.

    A plane descends along a very specific path at a very specific speed and a very specific angle. Get in that path, and the cockpit is a stationary target located between the red wing light and the green wing light.

    To creek's point about the equipment in use here, she's hinting at the reason I've been looking for more substantive info. Look; Homeland Security is involved. Perhaps due to a knee-jerk CYA fear about a worst-case scenario. But certainly not because of the threat of a crash from blinded pilots. You see a flash, you turn away, and you pull up and go around for another try.

    So perhaps this isn't a Homeland Defense CYA. Perhaps they have info that terrorists are reconnoitering airport flight paths using precision laser range finders like this commercially available one. One guy, who will eventually be a shooter, watches planes land at night while a buddy calls out distances. Later, the shooter will return with a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile, eyeball the range and speed of the plane, shoot it down on approach, and slip away into the night.

    Or, perhaps since IR-guided SAMs lose most of their lethality when fired from the front, terrorists are doing some proof-of-concept on laser-designating their targets, hoping to improve their missiles' effectiveness. Russian ATGMs, for example, come in man-portable varieties and can be effective against slow-moving air targets (like planes on approach). When fired from the ground, they are usually IR-guided, but can have a laser-guided capability when fired from an airborne platform. It may be possible to port this laser capability to the MANPAD variety. It may have happened already.

    Food for thought. We aren't just talking about penlights here.
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  15. #29
    Dunnilicious creek14's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsland
    Or, perhaps since IR-guided SAMs lose most of their lethality when fired from the front, terrorists are doing some proof-of-concept on laser-designating their targets, hoping to improve their missiles' effectiveness. Russian ATGMs, for example, come in man-portable varieties and can be effective against slow-moving air targets (like planes on approach). When fired from the ground, they are usually IR-guided, but can have a laser-guided capability when fired from an airborne platform. It may be possible to port this laser capability to the MANPAD variety. It may have happened already.
    That kind of talk gets me all excited. :mhcky21: (Yeah, I'm a geek)
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  16. #30
    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: Guy who lasered airplanes.. appropriate punishment?

    Quote Originally Posted by creek14
    Since 1997 there have been over 200 reported incidents of laser being directed into the cockpits of aircraft.

    I read that too a few days back.

    Pointing a laser at a plane is akin to pointing a gun at a person. Both are one step short of pulling the trigger.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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