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Obama Signs Bill

Sigurthr

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I'm glad they left the emergency signaling clause in there. That gives us a bit of leeway if we are ever stopped/searched and are carrying a laser. The definition of "flight path" could be a real problem though... a flight path can encompass your entire field of view at a certain elevation angle. What elevation angle you choose for beamviewing could become very important!

Somewhat related... when beamviewing are low elevation angles safe to use? (close to the hoizon) A low takeoff angle may stay clear of any aircrafts in your field of view but what about miles away... due to the curvature of the earth that would shoot the beam across someone else's center sky. At what distance would the beam be too diverged to be detected by an aircraft? With 1mRad divergence at 100 miles out a beam will increase in diameter 160,900mm or 160.9meters. At 10 miles out the same beam would be only 16.09 meters wide (52ft) which is probably not diverged enough. So where does one draw the line.

Shooting directly up at a patch of the sky completely void of illumination (stars or otherwise) would be the safest bet for avoiding direct aircraft exposure, but perhaps not the wisest for avoiding a flight path.
 

bdgreenb

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CLEAR LOOPHOLE.... how do they argue you weren't trying to send a distress signal?
 

Sigurthr

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If they catch you in the act and clearly you are not in a dangerous situation.
 

ZRaffleticket

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Whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft....
So... I can shine my labby and my argon at a helicopter or airplane?
Hell, I can shine a pointer then claim it's a labby!

Ahhhh loopholes

Edit: I'm not stupid enough to do it still, just saying...
 
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tsteele93

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It is distressing in one respect. It leaves NO clear loophole for research or laser show lasers in air space. FAA assures ILDA that this is not a issue.
I'd like to see that in writing.

It is a bit broad in its definitions, especially "flight path"


Steve
It does say "knowingly" so I would assume if you could reasonably assume that you were not in a flight path then you would be ok?

I'm glad they left the emergency signaling clause in there. That gives us a bit of leeway if we are ever stopped/searched and are carrying a laser. The definition of "flight path" could be a real problem though... a flight path can encompass your entire field of view at a certain elevation angle. What elevation angle you choose for beamviewing could become very important!
I have a friend who is a pilot and we have flown together and he has explained that there are mapped out areas near airports that are considered to be "flight paths". I suspect that they are looking at specific areas like these.


Well, I'm good. I don't use lasers as a "pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object", I only use them to BuRN StufFz! lol
Well, don't go burning any flying airplanes then.
 
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InfinitusEquitas

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I have a friend who is a pilot and we have flown together and he has explained that there are mapped out areas near airports that are considered to be "flight paths". I suspect that they are looking at specific areas like these.
Don't suppose your friend mentioned any kind of maps to show these flight paths?

There are a bunch of trackers to see individual flight paths, but no overlapping map that I could find over a few minutes of searching.

Perhaps they mean only approach corridors around airports? Otherwise any area of open sky can conceivably be a flight path for a plane.

FlightAware > Live Flight Tracker
Flight Tracking in 3D with Flightwise and Google Earth; live traffic for LAX, BOS, ORD, ATL, JFK, MIA
Map: Flight Path Pandemonium | Technology | DISCOVER Magazine
 

tsteele93

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Don't suppose your friend mentioned any kind of maps to show these flight paths?

There are a bunch of trackers to see individual flight paths, but no overlapping map that I could find over a few minutes of searching.

Perhaps they mean only approach corridors around airports? Otherwise any area of open sky can conceivably be a flight path for a plane.

FlightAware > Live Flight Tracker
Flight Tracking in 3D with Flightwise and Google Earth; live traffic for LAX, BOS, ORD, ATL, JFK, MIA
Map: Flight Path Pandemonium | Technology | DISCOVER Magazine

This is probably what he was talking about and probably what authorities are concerned about...

Airspace class (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Class B airspace is defined around key airport traffic areas, usually airspace surrounding the busiest airports in the U.S.A. according to the number of IFR operations and passengers passing through. The exact shape of the airspace varies from one Class B area to another, but in most cases it has the shape of an inverted wedding cake, with a series of circular “shelves” of airspace of several thousand feet in thickness centered on a specific airport. Each shelf is larger than the one beneath it. Class B airspace normally begins at the surface in the immediate area of the airport, and successive shelves of greater and greater radius begin at higher and higher altitudes at greater distances from the airport. Many Class B airspaces diverge from this model to accommodate traffic patterns or local topological or other features. The upper limit of Class B airspace is normally 10,000 feet (3,000*m) MSL. (AIM 3-2-3.a.)"

Takeoff and landing are where you are most likely to hit a plane and distract a pilot.

I'm sure exceptions exist, like shining at a news or police helicopter, etc...
 
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Encap

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I would guess "at the flight path of", because it is in "Sec 39A. Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft", means simply at the path of an aircraft - to a place in the sky where the pilot is capable of seeing and aircraft is capable of hitting the laser beam is the same as pointing at an aircraft for purposes of this Law.

Common definition is: The flight path of an aircraft is the direction of flight that is traveled relative to the ground.

I could be wrong but do not think it means to include when no aircraft is/are present. Flight paths are not 100% predetermined like roads or highways for instance. A flight path are determined by the pilot of an actual aircraft in flight.

THe law is pretty clear --you can not point a laser pointer beam at an aircraft or in the way (path) of an aircraft which is the same as pointing at an aircraft for the purposes of this Law. Don't point a laser pointer beam at or around/near aircraft at anytime anywhere is the message this law.

I think the new Federal Law is a good one and long overdue.

What about State and Local laser pointer laws? Who enforces this new Law--Federal, State, or Local authorities? All of the above?
 
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hakzaw1

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Wasn't it already illegal here? Or was that just some/most states?


IIRC it was a felony before and now a federal offence..5yrs . no good time off early. Much heavier now and it should be.

It may have already been a federal offfence for lasing Govt aircraft IDKFS.

Statstics show increasing reports of incidents .... so something stronger may help.

Ya'll should be more careful who you sell hi power to.
 
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millirad

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There's absolutely no excuse for anyone intentionally lasing aircraft. Just one passenger liner "heavy" that could no longer fly would be a disaster. Heavy of course meaning passengers on board.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for anyone who risks the life of innocent passengers and crew intentionally. The law was already in place, so it may be redundant but it doesn't hurt to protect passengers/crew.
 
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hakzaw1

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When I was little I needed a note from momma in order to purchase BBs.
Like guns, ammo, lasers and other dangers- The provider must assume some resposibility and being of a certain age will still not be enough as long as it provides a thriil and chances of getting caught slim.
there is no simple solution...
 

electron

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I always understood it to be a Felony to shine a Laser on an Aircraft in the first place, I wonder now though with flight path added to this new Law.

If for example you Star point a Laser with no Aircraft insight, are miles & miles away from an airport, can it be deemed a flight path because Aircraft routinely use that "route" that you just pointed at a Star with your Laser?
 




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