5 more laser incidents targeting aircraft reported

By Paula Akana
Published On: Apr 10 2013 06:03:55 PM HST

Over the past few days five Hawaii pilots reported being targeted by green laser beams. It's a growing problem and so far no one has been found responsible.

HONOLULU -

Over the past several days, five Hawaii pilots reported being targeted by green laser beams.

The lasers are aimed at the pilots as they're getting ready for the most critical time in flight -- take-off and landing.

"In a relatively short period of time on Saturday, three pilots reported being hit with green lasers and then again on Monday two more pilots reported being hit with green lasers as they were flying around Honolulu," said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

The Saturday night incidents involved small single-engine 4-seater planes while on Monday night, Island Air and Hawaiian Airlines aircraft were targeted.

That laser seems small on the ground, but it's blinding by the time it hits the cockpit.

"It basically takes away your vision.  And, as we all know, in a helicopter and an aircraft, the pilot and the crew need to be able to see to do their jobs," said Capt. Timothy Gilbride of the U.S. Coast Guard back in February.

In February, the Coast Guard and law enforcement were urging people to stop and reminding a conviction for pointing a laser at an aircraft could land you in prison for up to five years.

It's serious time for a serious crime.

"Why anybody would think this is a fun thing to do, a humorous thing to do, a cute thing to do is absolutely beyond me," said Gregor.

Monday's incidents make 15 so far on Oahu for 2013 compared with 31 on Oahu in all of 2012.

Honolulu police say these recent incidents have not yet been reported to them.

Police did say they have yet to arrest anyone in connection with the pointing of lasers at aircraft.

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