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FDA wants to restrict green & blue laser pointers as "defective"

Razako

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Protective window film, protective helmet visor, gun site camera is right in front of his eye underneath the visor.

Like I said pilots could wear a visor or pair of safety glasses when under 5000 feet, otherwise the angle into the cockpit makes striking a pilots eye only possible from another aircraft short of being on top of a building at a very long distance and through a lot of moist air.

Except at take off and landing the best focused green laser is not any more than a mild annoyance, much like our new led streetlights and that bright undiffused spot we all see every night and have learned to ignore.

Oh and I just love all these pulsed LED tail lights, that's not annoying.....yes it is, but we deal with it, 100's of millions of times each night.
Yeah, it seems like pilots almost hate lasers due to the 'annoying factor'. They just can't stand how people are able to reach out and 'harass' them even while they're up in the solitude of the sky. I've looked all over for evidence of real harm caused to pilots by lasers, and it's just not there outside of cases where somebody was likely using a tripod mounted laser to blind planes approaching a runway. Cases like that are what I would consider terrorism, and clearly the approach is to go after the terrorists rather than banning their tools.

There are plenty of things which visually annoy me, and I don't cry to have them banned. Every day on the road I encounter cars with poorly implemented HID headlights. These scatter a bunch of intense light up into the eyes of incoming motorists and cause a degree of temporary flash blindness. You don't see me lobbying to have them banned though.
 
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Bionic-Badger

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I don't think I'd really mind seeing high-powered laser "pointers" banned from sale or import, at least mass produced types. It'd be really hard to regulate people building their own. Mostly I'm concerned about idiots buying them online and then hurting people or causing problems. If the only way you can get higher powered hand-held lasers is to build them or buy the expensive certified varieties, it'll cut down on dumb people having access to cheap lasers.

What I don't want to see is this to escalate as a full on ban on lasers and laser parts like what goes on in Australia. If restricting these hand-held lasers from import is a good stop-gap I'm okay with it.
 

Alaskan

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I would much rather see that than what could happen, I don't want to see ownership or possession of such a device become illegal.
 

Benm

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It's pretty darn hard to pass a law, with the two houses and everything, and then for the president to sign it. Could happen with Hillary though. :gun:

Well, it depends on how you present the thing. Please vote to ban these "novelty light sticks from china that blind pilots when they stare into them" could pass quite well with politicians that have no clue about what they actually are, what the dangers really are etc.

There are plenty of things which visually annoy me, and I don't cry to have them banned. Every day on the road I encounter cars with poorly implemented HID headlights. These scatter a bunch of intense light up into the eyes of incoming motorists and cause a degree of temporary flash blindness. You don't see me lobbying to have them banned though.

I call for a ban on speedbumps!

Those actually cause cars with properly adjusted running lights to flash blind me all the them when the topple over a speed bump. There is nothing wrong with these cars at all, but forcing the front of them to raise up will cause the lowbeams to point up even if they have active control over the beam angle since that doesn't respond fast enough (it does compensate for driving with heavy loads in the back pitchting the front up etc).
 

CurtisOliver

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I call for a ban on speedbumps!

Those actually cause cars with properly adjusted running lights to flash blind me all the them when the topple over a speed bump. There is nothing wrong with these cars at all, but forcing the front of them to raise up will cause the lowbeams to point up even if they have active control over the beam angle since that doesn't respond fast enough (it does compensate for driving with heavy loads in the back pitchting the front up etc).

Me too, I hate them with passion. Car destroyers! And you are right, they do cause a flash blindness hazard. Maybe they will only ban certain colour types of speed bumps. Ones with yellow stripes ... good! Ones with white stripes ... BAD!!! :crackup:
 

RedCowboy

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5mw green lasers are used in so many aiming and training devices, banning them is ridiculous, even home depot is selling those diffraction grated Christmas lights although Wal-Mart seems to have pulled them off the shelves. Someone 3 miles from an airport is going to have one of those Christmas decorations in their yard and maybe a dog pizzes on it and knocks it askew causing a faint green red distraction, likely the homeowner will get 5 years in prison and sue HD.

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-trb-laser-holiday-lights-planes-20151209-story.html

They are not going to harm pilots at distance, it's complete and total BS

I will donate a pair of laser safety glasses to an underprivileged pilot, granted I drive a 15 year old pick up truck and don't even own a pair of cufflinks, but I will donate a pair of safety glasses if they will sign a contract to wear them when landing....oh, I see, I must by law wear a seat belt, but pilots can't be bothered to wear a pair of safety glasses during landings, even though the chances of an incident are quite low, if it's such a problem shouldn't a pair of plastic glasses be worn while the modern aircraft land themselves just incase a pilot is needed to take emergency control, I wonder how often the automated landing system fails resulting in a pilot having to take manual control? My bet is hardly ever, and how many times has a pilot been laser distracted while taking emergency control while the commercial aircraft is landing it's self? NEVER is my bet. But if a poor underprivileged pilot needs safety glasses I will donate a pair.

>>>>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoland
 
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Razako

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5mw green lasers are used in so many aiming and training devices, banning them is ridiculous, even home depot is selling those diffraction grated Christmas lights although Wal-Mart seems to have pulled them off the shelves. Someone 3 miles from an airport is going to have one of those Christmas decorations in their yard and maybe a dog pizzes on it and knocks it askew causing a faint green red distraction, likely the homeowner will get 5 years in prison and sue HD.

FAA to holiday laser light lovers: Watch out where you point those things! - LA Times

They are not going to harm pilots at distance, it's complete and total BS

I will donate a pair of laser safety glasses to an underprivileged pilot, granted I drive a 15 year old pick up truck and don't even own a pair of cufflinks, but I will donate a pair of safety glasses if they will sign a contract to wear them when landing....oh, I see, I must by law wear a seat belt, but pilots can't be bothered to wear a pair of safety glasses during landings, even though the chances of an incident are quite low, if it's such a problem shouldn't a pair of plastic glasses be worn while the modern aircraft land themselves just incase a pilot is needed to take emergency control, I wonder how often the automated landing system fails resulting in a pilot having to take manual control? My bet is hardly ever, and how many times has a pilot been laser distracted while taking emergency control while the commercial aircraft is landing it's self? NEVER is my bet. But if a poor underprivileged pilot needs safety glasses I will donate a pair.

>>>>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoland

Last week, an American Airlines pilot reported seeing a laser light from an altitude of 15,000 feet as he approached Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, according to media reports.
It turned out that the light was coming from a home decked out with laser lights.
Ditto for a U.S. Coast Guard plane over Sacramento that reported in November that someone was shining a green light on it.

What an absolute joke. There is no universe in which a diffused Christmas laser projector would be a hazard to a plane at 15,000. The pilots are just being whiny little children and crying if they so much as see a little green light off in the distance:tired:

These stories honestly make me lose a fair amount of respect for the profession.
 

dden4012

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If this ends up only affecting cheap laser pointers on eBay, ablibaba, and aliexpress it wouldn't be a bad thing imo. Making higher power lasers available to the lowest common denominator invites this kind of consequence. There are too many dumb and malicious people. They are here to ruin it for the rest of us.
 

Alaskan

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I wouldn't whine about ebay laser pointer sales being shut down, but don't take away my ability to buy parts! I really don't think it could possibly extend that far though, they are used for too many things.
 

Merpie101

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this fda crap is really triggering me right now :mad: i really want to at least have a sizable collection before they just outright ban selling these! maybe i will just have to get into building these things. i hope this doesnt affect raw diodes too
 

Razako

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this fda crap is really triggering me right now :mad: i really want to at least have a sizable collection before they just outright ban selling these! maybe i will just have to get into building these things. i hope this doesnt affect raw diodes too
You should probably try to collect the most essential pieces while you still can. You can build a lot of things, but there are certain types of lasers which you can't really build yourself. 532nm/589nm etc. We might be worrying about nothing though, because I'm not sure how this ban would even be enforced. China will still just ship them in labeled as other things.
 

Benm

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Equipping pilots with laser safety goggles will not really work as they cannot predict which laser would be shining at them (660, 532, 450, 405?). Blocking all of those would be difficult, and pilots also need to be able see colored lights on landing like the red/white VASA/PAPI lights.

There are also green lights a pilot needs to be able to see, such as the markers on the sides of the beginning of the runway and those on taxi lanes. Apart from all of that instruments usually used varous colors so taking one out is not really a good idea.

But pilots are complaining about nuisances, not real dangers. It's annoying if the road is wet and you get reflections from traffic lights and such too, but most countries make little effort to prevent this danger to drivers at all.

Als for planes landing themselves: Even if the feature is available few pilots prefer to use it. It's fairly normal to hand fly a plane to the ground even on an airport that has full ILS even with a commercial jetliner.

For one it's an exciting part of the job, and one to keep proficient at as well: When there are gusting cross winds there is no chance for the automated system to make a landing. Go look on youtube to see under what crazy gusts human pilots can actually land.

Taking manual control here is not optional either: under such conditions the autopilot will disengage sounding a master caution, from which point on the plane requires human control to avoid a crash.
 

lazeristasUVISIR

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Till there are stupids, I don't mind that there will be limits on pointers too. If a person is smart enough to built a powerful laser using components, (s)he might be smart enough to use it responsibly.

Latest news from the laser-aircraft front.
CHARGES LAID FOLLOWING LASER STRIKE ON POLICE HELICOPTER AND TWO COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFTS
Charged: Male, 16, the City of Vaughan
Charges:Mischief Endangering Life X3; Common Nuisance X3
News - York Regional Police
 

CurtisOliver

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Till there are stupids, I don't mind that there will be limits on pointers too. If a person is smart enough to built a powerful laser using components, (s)he might be smart enough to use it responsibly.

That's what we would hope at least.
 

LSRFAQ

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Fda has precedent for this. They are rolling things back to a 1990s rule, to period when there were no complaints. Make them any angrier, and they will roll it back to the period before that, when a manufacturing permit was required to mass produce a pointing device.

When cheap 5 mw 690 nm red diodes came out, no one ever envisioned diodes dropping in wavelength and so greatly increasing in power. Fda "got tired" of trying to keep up with the massive increase in pointer paperwork and issued a "Laser Letter" allowing blanket manufacturing of a Class IIIa device for pointing if it was less then 4.9 mw and had the correct warning stickers.

It's the pointer manufacturers breaking the terms of the blanket permission by making and selling devices hotter then IIIA, so FDA is basically rolling back to the older rule, and adding the red only clause to make the pilots happy.

There is legal president for what they are doing with this rollback to older rules.

They are well aware of laser hobbyists, and by mandate, are really concerned with public and medical use, and mass manufacturing, not what you do in your basement.

In fact, in the 80s when I was a teen, they were quite friendly and helpful to hobbyists. I have a letter some place from a CDRh associate director waving me for a variance for a laser effect for a high school event if I kept the power down. That letter came with a huge packet of laser safety info and a complete set of docs on how to be a legal manufacturer of lasers, plus copies of all the previous "laser letters" on how to interpret the rules.

Steve
 




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