Someone aimed laser pointers at two planes near Pope Army Airfield, military officials said.
The lasers were pointed at the aircraft several weeks apart and from two different locations, according to a statement released Wednesday by the airfield.
The latest incident was June 12 as a plane was approaching Pope and was about three miles from the runway, said Jim Bove, a Pope spokesman. Pope officials believe the other incident originated from somewhere on what was formerly Pope Air Force Base and happened in late April or early May, he said.
Aiming lasers at aircraft is a federal crime and dangerous, the statement said.
Rich Galley, flight safety manager at Pope, said in the statement that the person aiming a laser pointer might think it’s funny, but the results could be catastrophic.
“Lasers can distract or cause serious injury to pilots who already have several things to monitor while airborne,” he said. “It can cause vision issues, and it puts everyone in danger including flight crew members, passengers and those on the ground.”
A federal law passed in 2012 makes it a crime to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft, according to the statement. Anyone convicted can be sentenced to up to five years in prison and have to pay a fine.
Anyone who sees someone aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft can report it by sending an email to [email protected] that includes your name, contact information, date and time of incident, and the location and description of the incident.
© 2019 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)
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