Long Island Plane, Helicopter Pilots Blinded By Lasers More Frequently Than Ever Before

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The number of incidents involving pilots getting temporarily blinded by lasers is on the rise: On Long Island, the FAA reports laser strikes soared from five in 2020 in 132 in 2021 – and accounted for more than half of the strikes in New York last year

“They’re readily available,” Vahey says. “You can order them online and frankly I think people were bored with being isolated by COVID and playing around with them like they were toys.”

There has not been a plane crash - or even a minor mishap - pinned to a laser attack. But members of the flying community say that’s no reason to minimize the danger.


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