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This is why you shouldn't point your lasers at Aircraft. Prime Example.

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danefex

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^^^So going back to criminal analogies.

Let's try another one. Do you think a person who assaults another with a fists should be charged and receive the same punishment as someone who assaults another with a gun?

Both are assault. In both a person is attacked. The same level of punishment doesn't make sense though.

Of course we don't know how badly a person is hurt in either case....
Hrmmm that's a good one, I'd have to say no because the difference is assult vs assult with a deadly weapon and possibly with deadly intentions. 'Dealdly intentions' may be an extreme assumption, but why else would you use a gun in an assult? Beating someone up is battery, using a gun can yeild a terribly worse and possibly deadly outcome.

Is attempted murder the same thing as murder?
Well I'm not a legal expert by any means, but attempted murder seems slightly less punishable because you never got around to do it. Bad intentions, sure - but you didn't kill & that's not murder.

What about manslaughter and murder?
Manslaughter is accidental, murder is not - these are two very different crimes. You won't get 20 to life for killing a pedestrian in a traffic accident, manslaughter usually refers to an unintentional death caused by another person.

So again, strictly IMO, the punishment should fit the crime. It should also take other factors into account like intent. I'm guessing this gable offspring wasn't actually trying to take down a helicopter... if he was you can be he would be in jail for quite a long time.
Intent is crucial when it comes to stuff like this, I couldn't agree more. I'm sure the kid didn't intend to take down the helicopter either, otherwise he'd probably have shot a rocket instead of a laser. Since this matter he's busted for is about him shooting a laser, he shouldn't be treated any differently than someone else who's lased a helicopter with a different color or more powerful laser IMO. :)

:beer:
 
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If you know anything about Hollywood you'd know why they were flying low. It has one of the highest crime levels in the area.
 

InfinitusEquitas

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Wasn't referring specifically Hollywood, but in general... Whenever there is a new story about a helicopter being lased, it just happens to be one that was flying very low to begin with.

Or are there any articles my new alerts missed where a high flying aircraft was lased? It's possible, keyword based news alerts are far from perfect.
 
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I've seen a video from a passenger of a commercial airliner getting lased, and the plane was moderately high. Even at that high altitude the laser lit up the window brightly. It was only for a second each time though. Obviously it would be hard to maintain a direct line to a moving aircraft.
 

Sigurthr

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I was able to find quite a few videos on YT of people caught in the act. I'm just glad i won't really be suffering if they make handheld lasers illegal, labbys will certainly suit my need. It would still be a real shame though.


This one is just nuts.
 
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The second one was the one I was referring too. Ocean City had a huge issue with lasers, because a few local venders where selling them there. If I'm not mistaken its one of the first places in the country to outlaw lasers outright.

Just shows you how the average public is too stupid to own a laser. And you wonder why the FDA is cracking down.
 

Paddy

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I still don't understand why people would shine them at aircraft...
What does anyone gain by doing it?
 
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I still don't understand why people would shine them at aircraft...
What does anyone gain by doing it?
Everyone has the desire to do the wrong thing at times. For the most part its our choices that divide the good from the bad people. Some (OK a lot of) people make the bad choice when there is a high level of getting away with it. Others justify it with useless excuses. And some are just dumb. If you've ever watched COPS you'll know what I mean.

The thing that kills me is just about every time I talk high power lasers to new people, they always ask if they can be used to blind people. :gun: I'd love to say "Sure, look at this".
 
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The thing that kills me is just about every time I talk high power lasers to new people, they always ask if they can be used to blind people. :gun: I'd love to say "Sure, look at this".
Same here. Whenever discussing high power lasers or showing my lasers to someone for the first time I always get some combination of the same statements/questions.

Not necessarily in this order

1. "How easy is it to blind someone"
2. "Can it reach planes."
3. "You better be careful pointing that into the sky, did you hear about this incident or that incident that happened"
4. "Don't point that at a cop or they might think it's a laser sight and shoot you."
5. "Those things are bad news."
6. "THAT THING IS ILLEGAL, YOU CAN'T HOVE THOSE." ( I calmly explain that they are not illegal to own etc) "NO I SAW ON THE NEWS THAT THEY ARRESTED A GUY WITH ONE"

I love how so many people are sure of everything about lasers and are so sure that I'M WRONG despite the fact that I'm the one who has spent thousands of dollars and hours on my hobby. Not to mention the fact that the only lasers they've ever seen let alone handled are crappy 5mW pointers.

My favorite comment is probably number 6 because several times I have been on my property at night beaming into the sky and twice people have randomly walked onto the property and bugged out about lasers "like that" being illegal and how I'm going to blind someone etc. Several other times it has happened while I was on public property or in a park etc. Both of the times where people came onto my property I calmly explained the situation in an attempt to sort of create a positive association with lasers and also to hopefully avoid having the person call the cops because even if I am on my property I don't want to deal with the cops.

Now when I've been in public people have gotten a little more aggressive about it and in those situations I just told them that it wasn't illegal and most times I just left except for once when the guy got very in to the lasers and actually wanted to learn about lasers as opposed to being a closed minded idiot who thinks they know everything.

Rant/
 
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Actually it's not. As you yourself say, the chance of actual harm to the pilot's eyes us negligible.

The reality is due to divergence most handheld lasers will not pose any risk of permanent or temporary damage. Especially not a 52mW laser at 800 feet.

The danger is in the distraction hazard.

[rant]On another note, I hate to blame the victim, but am I the only one who's wondered :wtf: these helicopters and planes are doing flying at low altitudes? I mean aside from annoying the hell out of anyone who happens to live underneath them.

Ever since the patriot act of insane spending it seems police departments are just itching to try out new toys and take helicopter tours of sleepy neighborhoods at night.[/rant]
They fly low for several reasons. Sometimes they do routine patrol work where they need to have reasonably close visual contact with the ground and other times they are performing ground support operations which may require them to illuminate an area with a spotlight, focus a camera at a specific target, etc. Most PD's tend to maintain a higher altitude well over 1000 ft (it's safer) and try to avoid residential areas at late hours.. But every now and then situations arise that require low altitude operation.

Heck, if a bunch of armed and dangerous thugs are on the loose I'd rather put up with some noise from a chopper late at night and see them captured as opposed to having quiet and wake up to find the thugs inside or near my house.
 

Kyosama66

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Some of those choppers fly low specifically to catch idiots with pointers. I have a friend that's a pilot for a major, yet unnamed, airline, so I asked him about lasers and his job. He told me that realistically, lasers are just "really fucking annoying", and the biggest threat is during a landing, but the computer can take over if the pilot and co-pilot get flashed. He went on to mention that people who have a fear of computers taking over shouldn't fly, considering how rare it is that a human NEEDS to be directly controlling.

Anyways, the pilots get a general fix on the beam source if possible, then file a report. If the same area shows up too often, Denver PD will shoot out a chopper for bait. I guess they're almost always successful.

Makes you wonder how dumb you've gotta be.
 

InfinitusEquitas

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They fly low for several reasons. Sometimes they do routine patrol work where they need to have reasonably close visual contact with the ground and other times they are performing ground support operations which may require them to illuminate an area with a spotlight, focus a camera at a specific target, etc. Most PD's tend to maintain a higher altitude well over 1000 ft (it's safer) and try to avoid residential areas at late hours.. But every now and then situations arise that require low altitude operation.
I'm not saying that there is no good reason for helicopters and planes to fly low, but as in many aspect of law enforcement, I wouldn't be surprised for a second if they abuse the capability.

Do you think this never happens?

"Hey look... nice looking woman skinny dipping in her backyard pool:drool:... let's go for a flyover, might be some suspicious activity there:shhh:"

Besides, the stabilized cameras on those helicopters have amazing zoom capabilities.

Heck, if a bunch of armed and dangerous thugs are on the loose I'd rather put up with some noise from a chopper late at night and see them captured as opposed to having quiet and wake up to find the thugs inside or near my house.
Ahh, the old let's give up privacy, and comfort for a little false security argument?

Exactly how often do you hear about roving bands of heavily armed thugs who sneak around late at night?

A little food for thought... from a very very smart man:

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Some of those choppers fly low specifically to catch idiots with pointers. I have a friend that's a pilot for a major, yet unnamed, airline, so I asked him about lasers and his job. He told me that realistically, lasers are just "really fucking annoying", and the biggest threat is during a landing, but the computer can take over if the pilot and co-pilot get flashed. He went on to mention that people who have a fear of computers taking over shouldn't fly, considering how rare it is that a human NEEDS to be directly controlling.

Anyways, the pilots get a general fix on the beam source if possible, then file a report. If the same area shows up too often, Denver PD will shoot out a chopper for bait. I guess they're almost always successful.

Makes you wonder how dumb you've gotta be.
Hmm, entrapment. Alive and well as always it seems.:undecided:
 
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I'm not saying that there is no good reason for helicopters and planes to fly low, but as in many aspect of law enforcement, I wouldn't be surprised for a second if they abuse the capability.

Do you think this never happens?

"Hey look... nice looking woman skinny dipping in her backyard pool:drool:... let's go for a flyover, might be some suspicious activity there:shhh:"
Very rarely actually. Police aviation units generally like to maintain maximum altitude for reason of safety. In the event of a malfunction every extra foot of distance between you and the ground means that much extra time to put the aircraft down in the event of a flameout. It also depends on the type of helicopter. If it has a single jet there are certain low altitude maneuvers that are generally not done for reasons of safety. If it has two jets then these maneuvers are less risky because you can still maintain power in the event one of the engines experiences a flameout.

Besides, the stabilized cameras on those helicopters have amazing zoom capabilities.
All the more reasons why modern aviation units generally maintain higher altitudes.

Ahh, the old let's give up privacy, and comfort for a little false security argument?

Exactly how often do you hear about roving bands of heavily armed thugs who sneak around late at night?

A little food for thought... from a very very smart man:
Actually in my area alone the aviation unit has proved itself a very effective crime fighting tool. Just this past summer a group of night time house burglars were caught thanks to the quick response of the aviation unit. And suspects who fled through the woods following a daytime armed robbery were caught via the assistance of the aviation unit and many similar incidents throughout my county in which crime was thwarted.. One officer mentioned to me that when criminals are on the run and the aviation unit shows up to provide ground support with the spotlight illuminating the area bright as day and the roar of the engines as well as police and K9 units operating on the ground the criminals generally give up rather quickly. Combine that with stranded boaters that were spotted and rescued at night. In short the aviation unit basically pays for itself. Is it an invasion of my privacy ? I don't feel threatened by police aviation operations that are extremely visible to the public I feel the real privacy threats are right here on the ground, i.e. stealth operations, i.e. spying on email, monitoring financial data,, phone data, hidden cameras, etc.
 
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Anyways, the pilots get a general fix on the beam source if possible, then file a report. If the same area shows up too often, Denver PD will shoot out a chopper for bait. I guess they're almost always successful.

Makes you wonder how dumb you've gotta be.
Which I have no problems with. I would call that good police work. If someone is dumb and irresponsible enough to point his laser at an aircraft and then is stupid enough to point it at a police helicopter then kudos to the cops for nailing the fool. Heck, I hate to see anyone arrested and I am all for giving people a second chance. I don't think anyone should be arrested for stuff like petty pot or drug charges. But pointing lasers at cars or aircraft is reckless and can endanger others and is putting our hobby in jeopardy. Perhaps if the cops catch enough of these idiots and word gets out that they won't get away with it and these incidents slow down it might actually benefit our hobby.
 
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