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Thread: pilot lazer blindness

  1. #1 pilot lazer blindness 
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    On the CBS evening news tonite Scott Pelly reported on airline pilots being hit by lazers coming from the ground in the New York area. They showed some cheap low power lazer pointers you can buy anywhere for a couple bucks. I can't believe this story. I'm sure the networks have science advisors. It certainly could be that someone is shooting a lazer at those planes but it would have to be a more high powered thing to do damage. You can see how one of those pointers disperse when you shine it for longer distances. The spot gets quite large. A plane coming in for landing still would be a few hunded feet up. I have been hit in the eye by these lazers even pointing it at myself and it hurts but it certainly didn't burn my retinas. But a pilot a few hundred feet up? Come on! It just bothers me because accuracy in reporting is important at least to many.


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  3. #2  
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    The lasers they use for this are not the $2 cheap and cheerful lasers we use to play with kitties.

    A report from 2008.
    Sydney plane zapped with laser - News - Travel - theage.com.au

    Australian Federal Police, ASIO and other government agencies plan to meet in Canberra today to work out a strategy to tackle the problem of laser attacks on passenger jets.
    The meeting will be urged to ban the sale of the high-powered lasers, The Australian reports today.
    It will also discuss even tougher penalties for people who use the lights to disrupt flights.
    Under penalties introduced last year, perpetrators are liable to up to two years' jail and fines of up to $30,000.
    General manager of the Australian and International Pilots Association, Peter Somerville, said he supported a ban on the sale of the lasers.


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  4. #3  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    On the CBS evening news tonight Scott Pelly reported on airline pilots being hit by lasers coming from the ground in the New York area. They showed some cheap low power laser pointers you can buy anywhere for a couple bucks. I can't believe this story. I'm sure the networks have science advisers. It certainly could be that someone is shooting a laser at those planes but it would have to be a more high powered thing to do damage. You can see how one of those pointers disperse when you shine it for longer distances. The spot gets quite large. A plane coming in for landing still would be a few hundred feet up. I have been hit in the eye by these lasers even pointing it at myself and it hurts but it certainly didn't burn my retinas. But a pilot a few hundred feet up? Come on! It just bothers me because accuracy in reporting is important at least to many.
    The pointer below cost $230.00 and probably has the power to blind a pilot of a low flying plane.

    4.00mw 532nm Adjustable Focus Green Laser Pointer with Lighting Match Function & Aluminum Box - Black


    Found a more expensive and powerful laser below.

    Laserglow Technologies - Handheld Lasers, Alignment Lasers and Lab / OEM Lasers


    Last edited by Bad Robot; October 18th, 2013 at 09:51 PM.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    On the CBS evening news tonight Scott Pelly reported on airline pilots being hit by lasers coming from the ground in the New York area. They showed some cheap low power laser pointers you can buy anywhere for a couple bucks. I can't believe this story. I'm sure the networks have science advisers. It certainly could be that someone is shooting a laser at those planes but it would have to be a more high powered thing to do damage. You can see how one of those pointers disperse when you shine it for longer distances. The spot gets quite large. A plane coming in for landing still would be a few hundred feet up. I have been hit in the eye by these lasers even pointing it at myself and it hurts but it certainly didn't burn my retinas. But a pilot a few hundred feet up? Come on! It just bothers me because accuracy in reporting is important at least to many.
    The pointer below cost $230.00 and probably has the power to blind a pilot of a low flying plane.

    4.00mw 532nm Adjustable Focus Green Laser Pointer with Lighting Match Function & Aluminum Box - Black

    That thing looks like a flippin light sabre, surely some of these things can't be legal if they can actually do damage to people.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

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  6. #5  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    On the CBS evening news tonight Scott Pelly reported on airline pilots being hit by lasers coming from the ground in the New York area. They showed some cheap low power laser pointers you can buy anywhere for a couple bucks. I can't believe this story. I'm sure the networks have science advisers. It certainly could be that someone is shooting a laser at those planes but it would have to be a more high powered thing to do damage. You can see how one of those pointers disperse when you shine it for longer distances. The spot gets quite large. A plane coming in for landing still would be a few hundred feet up. I have been hit in the eye by these lasers even pointing it at myself and it hurts but it certainly didn't burn my retinas. But a pilot a few hundred feet up? Come on! It just bothers me because accuracy in reporting is important at least to many.
    The pointer below cost $230.00 and probably has the power to blind a pilot of a low flying plane.

    4.00mw 532nm Adjustable Focus Green Laser Pointer with Lighting Match Function & Aluminum Box - Black

    That thing looks like a flippin light sabre, surely some of these things can't be legal if they can actually do damage to people.
    Yes they are legal, just like guns are legal, it's what you do with them that may be illegal. Also, I updated my last post.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    On the CBS evening news tonight Scott Pelly reported on airline pilots being hit by lasers coming from the ground in the New York area. They showed some cheap low power laser pointers you can buy anywhere for a couple bucks. I can't believe this story. I'm sure the networks have science advisers. It certainly could be that someone is shooting a laser at those planes but it would have to be a more high powered thing to do damage. You can see how one of those pointers disperse when you shine it for longer distances. The spot gets quite large. A plane coming in for landing still would be a few hundred feet up. I have been hit in the eye by these lasers even pointing it at myself and it hurts but it certainly didn't burn my retinas. But a pilot a few hundred feet up? Come on! It just bothers me because accuracy in reporting is important at least to many.
    The pointer below cost $230.00 and probably has the power to blind a pilot of a low flying plane.

    4.00mw 532nm Adjustable Focus Green Laser Pointer with Lighting Match Function & Aluminum Box - Black


    Found a more expensive and powerful laser below.

    Laserglow Technologies - Handheld Lasers, Alignment Lasers and Lab / OEM Lasers


    Sorry I found this note below the higher powered laser.



    Please note: This laser cannot be shipped to the United States. If you live in the USA you may consider the 532 nm laboratory laser, which provides similar output but is not portable. Click here for more information.
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  8. #7  
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    Found some claiming to be the world's most powerful, how true that is remains to be seen:

    Wicked Lasers | Blue, Red, Green Laser Pointers
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

    Bertrand Russell
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    On the CBS evening news tonight Scott Pelly reported on airline pilots being hit by lasers coming from the ground in the New York area. They showed some cheap low power laser pointers you can buy anywhere for a couple bucks. I can't believe this story. I'm sure the networks have science advisers. It certainly could be that someone is shooting a laser at those planes but it would have to be a more high powered thing to do damage. You can see how one of those pointers disperse when you shine it for longer distances. The spot gets quite large. A plane coming in for landing still would be a few hundred feet up. I have been hit in the eye by these lasers even pointing it at myself and it hurts but it certainly didn't burn my retinas. But a pilot a few hundred feet up? Come on! It just bothers me because accuracy in reporting is important at least to many.
    The pointer below cost $230.00 and probably has the power to blind a pilot of a low flying plane.

    4.00mw 532nm Adjustable Focus Green Laser Pointer with Lighting Match Function & Aluminum Box - Black


    Found a more expensive and powerful laser below.

    Laserglow Technologies - Handheld Lasers, Alignment Lasers and Lab / OEM Lasers


    Definite negative on that. 4mW is nowhere near enough to blind someone standing in front of you, let alone a plane flying above you. You need 4 WATT lasers for that:

    This one is 2000 mW (2 Watts): Spyder 3 Arctic Blue Handheld Laser

    They also sell 4000mW versions. It is those lasers that can be used to blind planes.

    Green 4mW pointers may seem cool and be expensive, but they are harmless, I assure you.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    On the CBS evening news tonite Scott Pelly reported on airline pilots being hit by lazers coming from the ground in the New York area. They showed some cheap low power lazer pointers you can buy anywhere for a couple bucks. I can't believe this story. I'm sure the networks have science advisors. It certainly could be that someone is shooting a lazer at those planes but it would have to be a more high powered thing to do damage. You can see how one of those pointers disperse when you shine it for longer distances. The spot gets quite large. A plane coming in for landing still would be a few hunded feet up. I have been hit in the eye by these lazers even pointing it at myself and it hurts but it certainly didn't burn my retinas. But a pilot a few hundred feet up? Come on! It just bothers me because accuracy in reporting is important at least to many.
    you might find this interesting
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    On the CBS evening news tonight Scott Pelly reported on airline pilots being hit by lasers coming from the ground in the New York area. They showed some cheap low power laser pointers you can buy anywhere for a couple bucks. I can't believe this story. I'm sure the networks have science advisers. It certainly could be that someone is shooting a laser at those planes but it would have to be a more high powered thing to do damage. You can see how one of those pointers disperse when you shine it for longer distances. The spot gets quite large. A plane coming in for landing still would be a few hundred feet up. I have been hit in the eye by these lasers even pointing it at myself and it hurts but it certainly didn't burn my retinas. But a pilot a few hundred feet up? Come on! It just bothers me because accuracy in reporting is important at least to many.
    The pointer below cost $230.00 and probably has the power to blind a pilot of a low flying plane.

    4.00mw 532nm Adjustable Focus Green Laser Pointer with Lighting Match Function & Aluminum Box - Black


    Found a more expensive and powerful laser below.

    Laserglow Technologies - Handheld Lasers, Alignment Lasers and Lab / OEM Lasers


    Definite negative on that. 4mW is nowhere near enough to blind someone standing in front of you, let alone a plane flying above you. You need 4 WATT lasers for that:

    This one is 2000 mW (2 Watts): Spyder 3 Arctic Blue Handheld Laser

    They also sell 4000mW versions. It is those lasers that can be used to blind planes.

    Green 4mW pointers may seem cool and be expensive, but they are harmless, I assure you.
    This^

    Under 5 mw and you won't even feel the heat on your fingertips....However a direct sustained shot to the eyes can cause some damage...pretty much like looking at the sun. Laser pointers and the like have no optics (lens) and quickly disperse over distance. I used to work for Spectra-Physics on laser such as this:


    Designed for survey and leveling....It's only a 5 mw tube laser, but can shoot a tight beam more than 1000 meters. It's the laser diodes from Blu-ray burners that can really do damage...as shown in Pyoko's post. If you were to combine that diode with a couple of lens...it would shoot for kilometers.
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  12. #11  
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    Eye damage is not the issue with the pilots. The pilots are being dazzled by the lasers during take offs and landings, which are critical moments. Crashing is the danger.
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  13. #12  
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    I am a commercial airline pilot, and I have been laser'd 4 times so far.

    A laser can reach and dazzle pilots even when the aircraft is at cruising altitude - it's happened to me at 34,000 feet - (though the higher the aircraft is the smaller 'target' it is).

    deric: You are not blinded in the sense of actual eye damage, you are blinded in the same way an oncoming car headlights on high beam do.

    Low lifes buy these things and then think it's a good idea to point them at an aircraft.

    Here in the UK, we report every occurrence and the police take it very seriously - on one occasion, they met the aircraft as it arrived on stand to take the details. We tell air traffic control our position and where the laser was being pointed from.

    One bright spark actually pointed his laser at the police helicopter!!

    Don't do it people, you will be found and prosecuted. If you cause a fatal accident, you will never forgive yourselves.


    OB
    Last edited by One beer; October 19th, 2013 at 01:18 PM.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    On the CBS evening news tonight Scott Pelly reported on airline pilots being hit by lasers coming from the ground in the New York area. They showed some cheap low power laser pointers you can buy anywhere for a couple bucks. I can't believe this story. I'm sure the networks have science advisers. It certainly could be that someone is shooting a laser at those planes but it would have to be a more high powered thing to do damage. You can see how one of those pointers disperse when you shine it for longer distances. The spot gets quite large. A plane coming in for landing still would be a few hundred feet up. I have been hit in the eye by these lasers even pointing it at myself and it hurts but it certainly didn't burn my retinas. But a pilot a few hundred feet up? Come on! It just bothers me because accuracy in reporting is important at least to many.
    The pointer below cost $230.00 and probably has the power to blind a pilot of a low flying plane.

    4.00mw 532nm Adjustable Focus Green Laser Pointer with Lighting Match Function & Aluminum Box - Black


    Found a more expensive and powerful laser below.

    Laserglow Technologies - Handheld Lasers, Alignment Lasers and Lab / OEM Lasers


    Definite negative on that. 4mW is nowhere near enough to blind someone standing in front of you, let alone a plane flying above you. You need 4 WATT lasers for that:

    This one is 2000 mW (2 Watts): Spyder 3 Arctic Blue Handheld Laser

    They also sell 4000mW versions. It is those lasers that can be used to blind planes.

    Green 4mW pointers may seem cool and be expensive, but they are harmless, I assure you.
    This^

    Under 5 mw and you won't even feel the heat on your fingertips....However a direct sustained shot to the eyes can cause some damage...pretty much like looking at the sun. Laser pointers and the like have no optics (lens) and quickly disperse over distance. I used to work for Spectra-Physics on laser such as this:


    Designed for survey and leveling....It's only a 5 mw tube laser, but can shoot a tight beam more than 1000 meters. It's the laser diodes from Blu-ray burners that can really do damage...as shown in Pyoko's post. If you were to combine that diode with a couple of lens...it would shoot for kilometers.
    Laser pointers do have an optics lens, otherwise the jut look like really bright diodes. Not sure where you are getting these ideas from.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by deric View Post
    But a pilot a few hundred feet up? Come on! It just bothers me because accuracy in reporting is important at least to many.
    I've been blinded by them at 4000 feet. It is definitely possible.
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  16. #15  
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    Well I have had 216 laser holes drilling into each of my eyes.....by a doctor.

    Lasers belong in the proper places where they do good.

    Not in some jerks hands!
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  17. #16  
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    Seems like it would be pretty easy to build a sensor that gave the precise direction and location on the ground. Arrest the dazzlingly idiots.
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  18. #17  
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    It would in theory, but actually would have to be quite sophisticated to give an exact position on the ground, given the aircraft's own position, height, heading, and angle to the horizontal etc, and too expensive to equip every aircraft in these days of low cost flight.

    We, the pilots can usually give precise enough locations - usually found to be a layby or a public area, or housing estate.

    Air traffic control take such sightings very seriously - I was once lasered by a passenger shining their laser from the window of the aircraft next door to me on the ramp at a Turkish airport !!! I reported it to the tower and they spoke very sternly to the pilots of the plane involved, who sheepishly said they would deal with the passenger..........


    Lasers belong in the proper places where they do good.

    Not in some jerks hands!
    I agree, but unfortunately they are irresistible to some jerks.

    OB
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  19. #18  
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    One Beer

    Lasers belong in the proper places where they do good.

    Not in some jerks hands!
    I agree, but unfortunately they are irresistible to some jerks.

    OB[/QUOTE]

    Unfortunately that is true in many ways
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Hope that doesn't mean me

    Here's one of my babies (running at about 300 mW)...
    Is there a target somewhere in that picture?
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Hope that doesn't mean me

    Here's one of my babies (running at about 300 mW)...

    Nope, you are a nice Sir DEMON!! *L*
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  22. #21  
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    oh and PhDemon......that is fascinating!! Thank you for sharing!
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