That is AirTran Capt Greg Cleath on the right and he is not a fan of lasers on landing.

That is AirTran Capt Greg Cleath on the right and he is not a fan of lasers on landing.

In Seattle, WA (where I live) there has been someone with too much time and a laser causing havoc with airliners. Over the past few months there have been about 2 dozen incidents. Mostly with a green laser, but more recently there has been a red. Either the same person is trying out a new laser or someone else thought it was neato to play with people’s lives and join in on the fun.

Although it is highly likely this person enjoys being talked about in the media, this got me wondering how often something like this happens.

There haven’t been any incidents so far, but being distracted while landing a plane with possibly hundreds of people on board is not a good situation.

This isn’t an isolated incident; it actually happens quite often, however, nothing beyond pilots complaining of damaged vision has been reported.

In June 2004, CNN reported that when pilots were exposed to a laser during a simulation, 67% experienced “adverse visual effects” and with a high powered level lasers, nine landings were aborted.

Although this has mostly been just annoying, I really don’t know how someone could live with themselves if they caused an airplane to crash. Many in the Seattle area speculate the local perp might be upset and protesting the new third runway.

Thanks to Dorothy from Ireland for the tip!

Source: KOMO Image:

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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Thanks for the info. I am glad to see that nothing bad has occurred so far. Hope that continues and that this jerk is caught soon.

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