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Old 10-13-2015, 08:17 PM #1
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Default Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

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Old 10-13-2015, 08:31 PM #2
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

One thing remains unclear to me. How the hell did they come up with lasers bringing aircraft down? Has it ever happened that someone caused a helicopter or plane to crash with a laser pointer? I've seen videos where multiple people pointed a laser at a helicopter and nothing serious happened other than the offender getting a jail sentence or something similar.

Don't get me wrong, I'm totally against pointing at aircraft, but it's just ridiculous how they go about it. They're against importing >5mW lasers because it "can bring down aircraft" yet they allow guns to be sold to pretty much everyone.
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:06 PM #3
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

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Originally Posted by gozert View Post
One thing remains unclear to me. How the hell did they come up with lasers bringing aircraft down? Has it ever happened that someone caused a helicopter or plane to crash with a laser pointer? I've seen videos where multiple people pointed a laser at a helicopter and nothing serious happened other than the offender getting a jail sentence or something similar.

Don't get me wrong, I'm totally against pointing at aircraft, but it's just ridiculous how they go about it. They're against importing >5mW lasers because it "can bring down aircraft" yet they allow guns to be sold to pretty much everyone.
Yeah that does seem a bit exaggerated, doesn't it?

I mean we are well aware of the effects of the laser pointer being used on a plane - there's even a handy GIF on Wikipedia describing the effects of being temporarily flashblinded by a laser at aircraft altitude. Ultimately, so what, so you lose night vision for 5 seconds. To the best of my knowledge, the entire plane operation is largely automated and pilot's input is minimal. This isn't a fighter jet in a middle of a fight.

I mean it can't be that serious to warrant higher prison sentences than pilots themselves f*cking up on job like falling asleep, being intoxicated and whatever else is in the news with alarming frequency.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:02 PM #4
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

It will be interesting to see what they re-sentence him to in the other 2 counts. I couldn't find anything that said he got 5 years. I saw where they identified the law he broke and that it carries a maximum of 5 years. I only saw where it said they removed 1 count (because he isn't a terrorist) and sent the other 2 back for re-sentencing.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:42 PM #5
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

crazy!!! people are just so dam dumb! honestly I don't know who is leading, the perp or the lawmakers! the chances of bringing down an aircraft with a laser is so high its not worth counting and The chances of you actually hitting the cockpit @10k+ feet is slim to non! so why even try it?! In no way am I saying its okay to laze an aircraft and the dumbass that does it should be punished accordingly!
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:02 AM #6
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

This is quite bizarre indeed. They make it sound like pointing a laser at an aircraft is a more or less viable attempt to make that plane crash. The sentence is what you would expect for someone that attempted to shoot one down with a stinger missile but failed.

Obviously shining lasers at aircraft is dangerous in the sense that it can interfere with normal flight operations, but i don't see how it could be the single event that crashes a plane. It could contribute to a bad situatiation (airliner in distress without fuel/control for a go-around or something), and if that -actually happens- punishment should fit the consequences.

In case of a helicopter the endagerment issue is fairly moot: in a helicopter it is fairly easy to change orientation such that the laser moves out of view from the pilot, they literally can turn on a dime. This would potentially present the problem of finding some alternative landing site, which is not that hard with a helicopter since you can land that on basically any flat piece of land if you must.

Helicopters have been proven to be fairly laser proof: just watch the footage from the Egypt revolution with loads of people shining green laser pointers onto military helicopters of tahir square. The images are quite spectacular as there were hundreds or perhaps thousands of people shining lasers around, causing none of those helicopters to crash.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:33 AM #7
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

Thats the media for you. Even 100mW laser hitting a plane at altitude, factoring in divergence, wouldn't do that much- and most certainly would not make it crash. Dangerous? Yes. Stupid? Yes. But deadly?? Not at all. I still think they should be punished, but 14 years seems extreme.
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:30 AM #8
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

Quote:
Originally Posted by gozert View Post
One thing remains unclear to me. How the hell did they come up with lasers bringing aircraft down? Has it ever happened that someone caused a helicopter or plane to crash with a laser pointer? I've seen videos where multiple people pointed a laser at a helicopter and nothing serious happened other than the offender getting a jail sentence or something similar.

Don't get me wrong, I'm totally against pointing at aircraft, but it's just ridiculous how they go about it. They're against importing >5mW lasers because it "can bring down aircraft" yet they allow guns to be sold to pretty much everyone.
Guns are very necessary for protection and more importantly to prevent government tyranny, although this theory seems to be starting to fail, government tyranny is progressing at an alarming rate. Guns can't easily bring down an aircraft, you would need a .50 cal and a low flying aircraft, and it's not to easy to hit a fast moving target, probably no terrorist is going to bother with that method, you need missiles designed for that purpose to bring down an aircraft.

I have mentioned this before but I will post it again, I very much suspect that the idea of using a laser to bring down an aircraft mostly originated with the 1994 book by Tom Clancy "Debt of Honor". In this book there was a secret weapon used by the CIA intended for use on the ground to stun people, it was just a flash lamp of a few million candle power, something today that we could make ourselves, but 21 years ago seemed high tech. In the book these two CIA guys used some adapter to make it flash a spot about the width of the cockpit about a mile away and blinded the pilots causing a Japanese AWACS jet to crash when it was landing. I suspect that at some later point that some people got the idea of trying to use a laser for this, although fortunately a hand held battery powered laser just isn't going to blind the pilots a mile or more away.

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Old 10-14-2015, 02:38 AM #9
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

I've been a pilot for over 40 years now and I can tell you with certainty that a laser pointer would not cause me to crash unless it was right before touching down, then it might be able to cause a problem, but a few seconds of flash blinding when I'm already in the air and not landing isn't going to cause a problem for me.
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:42 AM #10
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

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Originally Posted by APEX1 View Post
crazy!!! people are just so dam dumb! honestly I don't know who is leading, the perp or the lawmakers! the chances of bringing down an aircraft with a laser is so high its not worth counting and The chances of you actually hitting the cockpit @10k+ feet is slim to non! so why even try it?! In no way am I saying its okay to laze an aircraft and the dumbass that does it should be punished accordingly!
It is exaggerated but flash blinding a pilot on landing could easily cause a serious crash especially a small AC without instruments. You would be trying to land blindfolded. Sadly there have been a few sick basatrds that have done exactly this. Nailed the cockpit while the AC was on final approach less than 100 feet from the runway. Because of the more serious intention of that I wish they charged the idiot with attempted homicide for as many people were aboard. I don't understand our world, I really don't.

There was a man in my home city just last year doing this exact thing to commercial jets with over a hundred passengers. He worked for the airport I don't remember what job but it wasn't a custodian it was something I remember thinking this is an educated man that clearly was trying to kill hundreds of people.
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:47 AM #11
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

A long while back, two years ago while living in New Mexico I was pointing my 1.5 watt 520nm laser at a mountain top, just shooting over the top of it, almost touching it when I saw a pair of bright white orbs coming out of the far distance right where I was aiming.... I stopped and watched, they kept getting brighter and brighter until I could clearly see it was a airline coming over the top of that same damn mountain, crap! It was a small commuter airliner which then proceeded to fly low directly over where I was, as if to show me they saw where the laser was coming from. Good thing I turned my laser off as soon as I saw those "white orbs"/landing lights. I could have ended up causing a problem or going to jail over that one without having even tried to point at an aircraft. Aircraft normally don't fly over the top of that mountain on their way to the airport, strange that this one did that one day and at the exact time I was pointing my laser exactly where they were coming from. If I were a judge I'd say this was all too coincidental, but it really happened that way. I had always been careful to watch for aircraft nav lights, strobes & landing lights so as not to even have my laser on if I saw one anywhere in the sky, but this one snuck up on me from the far distance.

After that, I didn't point my laser into the sky again for weeks, I was afraid they might be looking for me. Don't point to the horizon!
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:54 AM #12
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

^^ Wow, pretty crazy. What are the odds of that happening!!
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:14 AM #13
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

I have the Rochester international airport about 5 miles from me so it is a very rare thing for me to bring a laser outside. I never point it into the sky. Theres a street sign over 50 feet away from my door that I use to flash a lower powered cheap 532nm pen laser at every once in awhile to show someone just how bright it is to demonstrate why you should never point one at a living thing.
I haven't read the article but it sounds like they are making an example of this person as a warning. Hate that people do these kinds of things. At the same time sensationalism sells and just as with many other things it's those of us who are responsible that suffer needlessly.
Honestly, what exists that you can't turn into a weapon. A person can be completely naked and still use their body as one. We will never be able to stop the nut jobs out there regardless of what stupid laws are enacted to try and save ourselves from ourselves. Tired of the slow creep towards tearing apart our constitution.
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:14 PM #14
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

The whole reason I am into lasers is to watch how beautiful the beams are in the night sky, if I couldn't do that, I wouldn't even want a laser. However, you can't do that without some amount of risk if pointing low to the horizon as happened to me. I won't do that again, only at high angles where an airplane in the far distance can't sneak up on me. I have a cousin who had to go to court for hitting a helicopter in the far distance with his little greenie when pointing at a street light at the end of his rural road. That should have been enough to know not to point low! My thinking was I could see their lights if out there, nope! Not always when on the horizon.

Sharing this as a lesson learned, fortunately without harm.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:18 PM #15
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan View Post
The whole reason I am into lasers is to watch how beautiful the beams are in the night sky, if I couldn't do that, I wouldn't even want a laser. However, you can't do that without some amount of risk if pointing low to the horizon as happened to me. I won't do that again, only at high angles where an airplane in the far distance can't sneak up on me. I have a cousin who had to go to court for hitting a helicopter in the far distance with his little greenie when pointing at a street light at the end of his rural road. That should have been enough to know not to point low! My thinking was I could see their lights if out there, nope! Not always when on the horizon.

Sharing this as a lesson learned, fortunately without harm.
More of the cousin story please!
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:03 PM #16
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Default Re: Bonehead resentenced--5 years for pointing laser @ plane

There is something decidedly wrong with our society that a crime that has resulted in absolutely no loss of life, property, or affected anyone's quality of life, results in a long prison sentence.

Don't get me wrong, I'm for both punishment, and rehabilitation, but our criminal justice system is seriously screwed up when the punishment means putting someone into an environment with other boneheads for years at a time to learn more boneheaded behavior, all to the tune of thousands upon thousands, and ultimately benefiting no one.

Last edited by InfinitusEquitas; 10-14-2015 at 10:04 PM.
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