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this is why I don't like my friends knowing my hobby.

RedCowboy

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The fact is the law lacks common sense, it is printed words and worse sometimes opinion, but typically words, such as if you illuminate a cockpit or even shine a laser into an aircrafts flight path you are guilty and the jail sentence shall be between - and - .

It is up to us to make sure it can't happen, and familiarity breeds contempt, that is something you do often you can easily get careless about, in this case where they are looking to make examples of people we all must make sure it doesn't happen, and what we know about divergence and dissipation proving an aircraft on the horizon at high altitude is safe and could only see a little blip if hit straight on for a moment simply does not matter, the letter of the law is what matters and we must not allow ourselves an accident.

Would you be any less blind if you only accidentally shot yourself in the eye?

Will a prosecutor give a dam about your energy calculations when they have case law on top of a federal law so loosely written that you could be found guilty if a passer by says they were startled and almost lost control of their car?

We can not assume that others on a jury will use common sense and you don't want to spend your time in court or in jail so always be extra careful and make sure that a mistake can't happen, treat it like a loaded gun, because an accident weather you meant it or not can hurt you or someone else and once it's done you can't take it back, so the only logical option is to make certain you don't let it happen.
 
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Accutronitis

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I don't think anyone should be jailed for -accidentily- hitting aircraft with lasers.

The idea of wanting to light up a mountain top is perfectly feasible, and you have no way of knowing an airplane may or may not come flying over that. But even if it does, it's not likely to crash due to your laser at all.

Jailing people for this i madness, unless you can somehow prove they had intent to make the aircraft crash, -and- their plan had any realistic chance of succeeding.

Luckily in europe legislation is a bit different. Attempting to make an aircraft crash (i.e. manslaughter or murder) is illegal, but only if your attempt is feasible to be effective.

To put that simply: if i attempted to murder you by throwing a ping pong ball at the back of your head, that would not be attempted murder, even if it was my intent to kill you by doing so.

Legislation is such that if there is virtually no chance of it actually working, intent to murder or manslaughter is not proven.

Similar legislation applies to laser pointers aimed at airplanes: it's not feasible to cause the plane to crash resulting in injury or death of those on board.

This reduces the maximum sentence quite a bit, from attempted murder to interfering with traffic. The latter is punishable still, but with much lower maximum sentences. I suppose they'll demand several hundreds as a fine, but if the judge believes you had no intention of disturbing air traffic he could conclude gluity without any punishment/fine at all.

In europe many countries allow verdicts of guilty without any punishment, i guess in the US that would be guilty but with a $1 fine or something.
This is the best post on the subject I've read !
 

RedCowboy

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In the USA you don't get away with breaking the law red handed unless you are Hillary Clinton, what we think is irrelevant, the fact that the laser at distance won't harm the pilots eyes is irrelevant because the law reads:

18 U.S. Code § 39A - Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft


(a) Offense.—
Whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path of such an aircraft, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(b) Laser Pointer Defined.—
As used in this section, the term “laser pointer” means any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission that emits a beam designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object.

(c) Exceptions.—This section does not prohibit aiming a beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft, or the flight path of such an aircraft, by—
(1) an authorized individual in the conduct of research and development or flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the Federal Aviation Administration, or any other person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct such research and development or flight test operations;

(2) members or elements of the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security acting in an official capacity for the purpose of research, development, operations, testing, or training; or

(3) by an individual using a laser emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal.

-edit-

The only things I see are where is reads anyone who "KNOWINGLEY" aims ....... so if it was inadvertent it could be up to the judges discursion, I expect a VERY EXPENSIVE LAWYER would be needed to get you clear on this wording because there is case law where people who claimed an accident were sentenced to years in prison.

For the purpose of emergency signaling it reads " by an individual using a laser emergency signaling device " again this is open to opinion as to weather someone's homemade device qualifies, I don't think this is a good defense unless you were in a very rural area.

I would expect that high altitude minimal exposure incidents would most likely result in a report being generated, maybe a helicopter being sent to the suspected area and God forbid do not point a laser at that or you're goose will be cooked.

Lets not forget another important point and that's everyone needs to avoid aggravating this situation by not shining lasers in the view of pilots, it can lead to legislation that could be quite unfriendly to us laser hobbyist and increase costs and add risks to what we enjoy, people can insist things should be different and aggravate the situation but in the end we will all pay for this obstinacy, so try to understand what we are up against and do what you can to minimize risks to our hobby and the freedom we have to enjoy it.

Also please note this is just the first hit I found, there may be newer and/or additional laws on this matter, I am not a lawyer, it's your duty to know the law.

More reading here > https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/lasers/laws/

Also I have been told that it's illegal to point a laser into the sky if you are within 10 miles of an airport, if that includes municipal and private airports then anyone in or around a city is pretty much not allowed to point into the sky.

Now I am not telling people what to do, but I am strongly suggesting that you do not point into the sky if you can see an aircraft anywhere in the sky around you what so ever, I suggest at the least everyone should spend a minute looking and listening before pointing, you are also well advised to avoid alarming any joggers, motorist or people sitting on their patio.

Enjoy and stay safe. :beer:
 
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RedCowboy

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He had what he deserved!

"The mother of the imbeciles is always pregnant"
cakava na sucking me baleta na idewadewa levu ka taura tu na nomu katalau mai na vakaoti ni cowboy ni veiqaravi filitataki na vakayagataki ni so na waiwai vakavinaka cake ki na nomudou vakanananu rawa na vakanuinui me ra na tubu cake

Furthermore : 那些沒能形成完整的思想應避免在破碎的句子發言, 因為它可以加劇無知嘅外觀同基本連貫嘅思維制定能力的缺乏。
 
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Alaskan

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In the USA you don't get away with breaking the law red handed unless you are Hillary Clinton...
What difference does it make, she did it, water under the bridge now... Next corrupt politician please... The American people are very stupid, come take our money, sell our country out.
 

lasersbee

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I don't think anyone should be jailed for -accidentily- hitting aircraft with lasers.
Accidentally :thinking: Hmmm.....
1) deciding to go outside with turned 'ON' Laser
2) deciding to point it above the horizon

Jerry
 

Alaskan

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Umm.... I did that, found out real quick not to point to the horizon, there can be aircraft out there you can't see, but can see your beam.
 

RedCowboy

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And the prosecutor will ask if he has ever seen an airplane, where have you seen an airplane, so you know airplanes fly in the air, and where did you aim your laser?

By his own words he will have made the case for his intent, claiming an accident or not he knowingly took the action where he knew airplanes fly.

Verdict = Guilty!

Not you Alaskan, I am speaking to the obstinate.
 
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Alaskan

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If these guys make lasers illegal due to the dummies who point them at people, aircraft, animals, cars or what ever, I bet it won't slow down the problem for a very long time to come, if ever, might even promote more airplane flashings.
 

TheDukeAnumber1

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This isn't all my friends, just a couple PI** me off with this crap!
I'm obviously the Blue and he's the white.
I wasn't gonna post this but I kinda wanted to.
There is a good chance he just said that to get a rise out of you. If he is a decent friend then prod back, if not then don't give him the reaction you did. IMO of course.
 

Richie89

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I do the same, probably a good practice. Like you said, you never know who's gonna be that one guy who'll just pi$$ you off about it. If it comes up, I'll normally just say I build "flashlights".
That's a great idea actually.
I may have fkashed a commuter aircraft once myself when shootng low over a mountaintop, an aircraft came into view while doing so one night, scared me silly.
Holy cow! Yeah it always worries me if it would ever happen.
My friends all think my lasers are cool. I've been showing lasers for many years, though. Long before pointers came around. I gave my daughter a He-Ne laser to take to school when she was 9 years old. It was the life of show and tell that day. She had been taught at an early age how to use lasers safely and that particular laser was under 5 mW.
That would be an awesome Show and tell!!! I never had anything that cool when I was 9 lol
Took courage to post this:beer: Was this his own laser or did you let him use one of yours?
I didn't care at all for his remark to you:tsk:
So easy to make a mistake and iv'e posted before about hitting the bay doors of the fire department at 3:00 AM..
In the beggining I did bring out a few lasers to show some neighbors but very very rarely now. Its best at the moment to keep quite about them I feel.
Oh crap my apologies, I should have been more specific :( it was actually some random guy that did it here in Oklahoma City and my friend was the one who sent me a picture of the news story and he was just telling me that he expects to see me on the news one day hitting a plane, I'm sorry I should have clarified that that person wasn't me just a screenshot of an idiot in my city who did it.

All of my friends get a safety spiel every time I show them a pointer, I usually only shine at trees or walls, and if shining up, look in all directions first.

Idiots will be idiots, and a person is not a friend if they would rat you out over a situation where no one is hurt.
I was telling GSS about my friend just sending me a screenshot of someone doing it near me and how my friend was basically saying he keeps expecting to see me on the news. I apologize for not posting it the right way, lol
I just wanted to let everyone know that it wasn't me or my fiend. My apologies:(
 
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Alaskan

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I've had friends like that in the past, stupid, young, mouthy, I let them go their own way.
 

Accutronitis

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I do the same, probably a good practice. Like you said, you never know who's gonna be that one guy who'll just pi$$ you off about it. If it comes up, I'll normally just say I build "flashlights".
I was shooting mine up into the night sky last week and my next door neighbor said "wow that's some flashlight you got there" and I just said thanks..... :can:
 
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