October 24, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Airline pilots and federal officials are launching a campaign to warn the public about the dangers of pointing lasers into cockpits.
Some pilots have been temporarily blinded by the powerful beams of light.
According to statistics released Monday, the number of reported incidents involving lasers and aircraft increased nationally from about 2,800 in 2010 to nearly 4,000 last year.
Portland, Ore., had the most reported instances, with 139. Also in the Top 10 were Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix and Las Vegas.
While no crash has been attributed to a laser, in some cases pilots hand to hand over control to another pilot.
The new campaign also emphasizes that pointing a laser at an aircraft is illegal.
In 2013, federal aviation officials took enforcement action in 34 cases.