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FBI: $10,000 Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At an Aircraft

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the issue-sunglasses dept.

Crime 445

coondoggie writes "Here's a good idea: The FBI has launched a targeted, 60-day program that will offer up to a $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft. The FBI said the laser-pointing scourge continues to grow at an alarming rate. Since the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration began tracking laser strikes in 2005, there has been ridiculous 1,000% increase in the number of laser pointing/aircraft incidents. Last year, 3,960 laser strikes against aircraft were reported — an average of almost 11 incidents per day."

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So..... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46219731)

Laser pointers are arbitrarily cheap and getting cheaper. The action of pointing them at an aircraft is arbitrarily easy. The action is motivated by basic human curiosity.

How is any sort of enforcement ever going to stop this behavior?

Shouldn't they be looking at a different solution here?

Re:So..... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46219917)

No, this is the right approach. Every time you caught someone pointing a laser pointer to a plane, fine the idiot to bankruptcy to cover the rewards and potential damages to the crew, then throw some terrorism charges and lock them behind bars for 20 years and the number of incidents WILL get down.

The issue here is idiots failing to understand the consequences of their actions and the potential damages they can cause. A harsh punishment will raise awareness on the problem and once enough awareness is achieved incidents will go down. Not to mention that finding and disposing of morons will potentially become a booming industry and we all benefit from finding and disposing of morons (even temporarily).

Agreed if.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220045)

Agreed if it's adults who ought to know better.
Are you, however, going to throw children in jail too for this?

Re:Agreed if.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220117)

If the kids are below the age of admission into the juvenile justice system, the parents are often held responsible for their child's actions.

Re:Agreed if.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220233)

Well, by all rights, children shouldn't have tools they have no use for that are able to blind themselves. Sort of the same thing with letting a kid drive a tractor.

While I'm all for stopping people that intentionally shine the pointers are planes (or people in public; private is another matter), I'm more afraid of false positives for those that unintentionally shine, or reporting for revenge / money when them being present is only a coincidence.

How could a burden of proof work? Does simply having a pointer make some one liable, or does there have to be physical proof, such as a photograph. Cameras are more prolific, so that could work out better in the long run.

Re:Agreed if.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220419)

Well, by all rights, children shouldn't have tools they have no use for that are able to blind themselves.

Knives? Forks? Toys? Some things children often play with can kill them. Stop worrying about remote possibilities.

Re:Agreed if.... (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 6 months ago | (#46220471)

Not sure that is the best example. Where I grew (in USA) up one could legally drive by age 14 – car or tractor – on road or off – and those things are more dangerous than lasers.

Re:Agreed if.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220339)

Prosecute the person giving them the dangerous items.

Re:So..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220207)

"fine the idiot to bankruptcy"

No, send them to be raped in prison and make sure it's highly publicized their arrest, trial and the judge talking about how big bubba will make them his wife while they are there.

These low IQ morons need to be scared shitless in order for them to stop, and being gang raped in a prison cell just might get the point across to some of them... although some are so dumb, they might not understand it.

You have to be a 80-IQ drooling moron to point a laser at an aircraft.

Re:So..... (0)

Cruorin (1453909) | about 6 months ago | (#46220257)

Do you realize that analogous punishments for copyright infringement have not actually lowered the number of incidents at all? The fact of the matter is that the "idiots failing to understand the consequences" will always exist, and there are always more being made. Adding harsh punishments simply adds to the consequences that those people do not understand, achieving nothing at all. I would wager that the cause for the increased incidents is because of the increased media attention, which would only increase as harsh punishments are handed down, which would make your solution part of the problem.

Unless we're somehow going to regulate laser pointers like guns, it would be far more effective to add some sort of countermeasure to the planes themselves, or the pilots.

Re:So..... (0)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 6 months ago | (#46220489)

>Unless we're somehow going to regulate laser pointers like guns, it would be far more effective to add some sort of countermeasure to the planes themselves, or the pilots.

Like build them out of materials that don't self destruct when exposed to low energy coherent light.

Re:So..... (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 6 months ago | (#46220457)

> idiots failing to understand the consequences of their actions and the potential damages they can cause

What was the damage? What percentage of the 11 planes fell out of the sky? Are plane hulls vulnerable to lasers? Cat's don't seem to be vulnerable to lasers. Perhaps we should be prosecuting people who point lasers as cats.

Re:So..... (3, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 6 months ago | (#46220497)

And what, pray-tell are you basing your assumption that this will work on? Generally this making a harsh example of people theory seems to do little more than justify enforcement budgets and act as an excuse to not solve underlying problems than it does to actually curb the issues it is aimed at.

I guess if you insist on not trying to find a creative solution that deals with the actual problem, foisting the issue off on law enforcement and blaming them for not being harsh or effective enough does effectively solve the issue for anyone who isn't all that interested in solving it.

Re:So..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220615)

Or just, you know, tint the windows or give the pilots sunglasses...
or admit that 99% of the time the pilot of a modern aircraft is playing angry birds on his phone because the autopilot deals with it all.

Re:So..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220651)

Except that the number of incidents is not increasing "alarmingly" and it's not that dangerous to the crew. This is essentially a "crime of annoyance".

Re:So..... (1)

hax4bux (209237) | about 6 months ago | (#46219963)

I think you could say the same about kids playing with matches.

Re:So..... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220001)

Welcome to Amerika, where control is more important than results. It's ok if a few airplanes go down, as long as we get to beat someone to death, or imprison them for life.

Re:So..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220071)

Bleach is arbitrarily cheap. The action of pouring it in someone's eyes is arbitrarily easy. The action is motivated by basic human curiosity.

How is any sort of enforcement ever going to stop this behavior?

Shouldn't they be looking at a different solution here?

Re:So..... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46220229)

Laser seeking high explosive missiles that are auto launched from the aircraft. Kills some of these idiots and word will get out.

Re:So..... (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 6 months ago | (#46220561)

Ever heard of collateral damage?

Re:So..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220563)

I had exactly the same idea, only prob is that pranksters would then put laser pointers pointing upwards near people they don't like.
Tar and feathers should be enough. A nice site with the photo gallery of the pointing guys in a puff of feathers would probably be popular too.

Re:So..... (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 6 months ago | (#46220577)

Totally solves the problem until someone realizes how he can not only defeat that but turn it against others with....a mirror or camera and remote control. As an added bonus, the blast should scatter the evidence nicely too.

Care to try again?

 

Re:So..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220089)

How is any sort of enforcement ever going to stop this behavior?

Shouldn't they be looking at a different solution here?

Simple Any person caught get's their head on a pike displayed outside an airport.

Re:So..... (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#46220123)

You could use the same argument for kitchen knifes and sticking them into people...

Stupidity is not acceptable when it seriously endangers others.

Re: So..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220269)

I don't think the motivation is curiosity, I think it is anger. Pilots are ever more disregarding the laws that protect againstnoise pollution and it usually affects poor people, who have less to lose from the risks of shining lasers at the ones they percieve to be the invaders. Very rarely in human history have people committed violent acts out of curiosity.

Re: So..... (1)

rhazz (2853871) | about 6 months ago | (#46220463)

Are you really suggesting that across the US, 11 times per day, people are organizing in protest against their societal plight by shining lasers at planes?

Re:So..... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 6 months ago | (#46220279)

I was just coming here to talk about the trend of denying or trivializing the problem by other laser enthusiasts, instead of doing their best to help eliminate the problem that threatens their hobby almost as much as it does the lives of the hundreds of passengers on each plane...thanks for demonstrating it for me.

Re:So..... (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 6 months ago | (#46220511)

What did he demonstrate for you? I see nowhere where he denied or trivialized any problem.

that threatens their hobby

It only threatens their hobby if they have an unjust government willing to employ collective punishment or paranoia to achieve whatever goal they wish to achieve.

Re:So..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220311)

Laser pointers are arbitrarily cheap and getting cheaper. The action of pointing them at an aircraft is arbitrarily easy. The action is motivated by basic human curiosity.

How is any sort of enforcement ever going to stop this behavior?

Shouldn't they be looking at a different solution here?

Yes. Why aren't the windows of aircraft made impervious to laser beams so the pilot(s) never see the laser beam or at least cannot be adversely impacted in the first place? Surely a coating on the windows to keep the laser beam from penetrating the cockpit or passenger cabin is possible.

Re:So..... (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 6 months ago | (#46220449)

Yeah, windows that don't allow light to pass through them.

I believe that's called a wall.

Re:So..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220543)

Yes. Why aren't the windows of aircraft made impervious to laser beams so the pilot(s) never see the laser beam or at least cannot be adversely impacted in the first place? Surely a coating on the windows to keep the laser beam from penetrating the cockpit or passenger cabin is possible.

Because that will impair the pilots vision.

Re:So..... (2)

jwdb (526327) | about 6 months ago | (#46220503)

Shouldn't they be looking at a different solution here?

Care to suggest one?

It's not like there's a technical solution on the laser pointer end, and as long as pilots use windows there isn't one on the plane end. You could try education, but there will always be idiots.

Swift justice will do more to get the word out.

Re:So..... (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about 6 months ago | (#46220509)

Guns are arbitrarily cheap and getting cheaper. The action of pointing them at a person is arbitrarily easy. The action is motivated by basic human curiosity.

How is any sort of enforcement ever going to stop this behavior?

Shouldn't they be looking at a different solution here?

Reflective cockpit windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46219769)

Isn't there something akin to a one-way mirror coating we could be putting on aircraft windshields to lessen or eliminate this threat? Certainly it would make it a tad darker for the pilots to see but also would assist them when flying towards the sun as well!

That's defeats the purpose of the windows.... (1)

zerotorr (729953) | about 6 months ago | (#46219837)

The purpose of the windows in the aircraft is to let light in... not to let it out.

Re:Reflective cockpit windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46219895)

Isn't there something akin to a one-way mirror coating we could be putting on aircraft windshields to lessen or eliminate this threat? Certainly it would make it a tad darker for the pilots to see but also would assist them when flying towards the sun as well!

I was thinking along the same lines. They can handle the sun, which is always shining above clouds in daytime, but not a laser pointer? Come on.

Re:Reflective cockpit windows (5, Insightful)

hax4bux (209237) | about 6 months ago | (#46219975)

I do not wear sunglasses when landing at night.

Re:Reflective cockpit windows (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#46220157)

Indeed. In the place where I live, there is also a growing trend of cretins pointing lasers at ambulance helicopters. Even if the pilot manages a safe emergency landing, this could well kill the person being transported.

Re:Reflective cockpit windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220183)

Googling "Laser Safety Glasses" produces many options for glasses that filter various wavelengths. A lightly tinted lens shouldn't inhibit a pilot's ability to see, even at night.

Re:Reflective cockpit windows (1)

hax4bux (209237) | about 6 months ago | (#46220365)

Here is a better idea: "don't distract the pilot"

I think it should be more sporting. I think I should get to shoot back.

This isn't the best way to handle the problem (1)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | about 6 months ago | (#46219835)

The laser incidents are so numerous that it will be impossible to deal with the problem by prosecutions. It seems to me that a problem that cannot be solved by stopping the perpetrators needs to be solved a different way, such as designing planes to not be vulnerable to the lasers.

Re:This isn't the best way to handle the problem (4, Insightful)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about 6 months ago | (#46220133)

This is very definitely a good idea, however I don't mind also taking morons who are deliberately messing with a vehicle carrying dozens to hundreds of live human beings and giving them a time out in a cell to think about why that's a stupid thing to do.

Re:This isn't the best way to handle the problem (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#46220237)

I think the right answer is Hellfire missiles equipped to track lasers...

Re:This isn't the best way to handle the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220321)

Except laser guided missiles target where the laser is being shined on not where the laser is coming from.

Re:This isn't the best way to handle the problem (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#46220429)

Not true, but the laser has to be pointed at the missile for this to work. It is not the standard way of doing this though. Probably would need a laser-location system and the Hellfire would need to fly inertial guidance to the calculated target.

Re:This isn't the best way to handle the problem (1)

baka_toroi (1194359) | about 6 months ago | (#46220261)

I thought the same, but what if the technology isn't there? I know nothing about lasers or laser-resisting windows, just asking a question.

Re:This isn't the best way to handle the problem (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#46220467)

Anti-laser glasses for pilots are readily available.

Re:This isn't the best way to handle the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220469)

Depends, making a filter that is transparent except for some specific narrowband wavelength is easy and known for tens of years. Making it the size of a window is expensive but not difficult, it is something you can order today and pick up in a few days at the factory.

It's the same technology as laser goggles, they just block the wavelength of the laser while letting all other light through (with some attenuation, but barely noticable, compared to wearing normal glasses).

If airplanes were equipped with this for most common diode wavelengths (this assumes that some punk will not be able to acquire some exotic diode laser and most gas lasers are not portable) I guess the problem would go down immensely.

Re:This isn't the best way to handle the problem (2)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 6 months ago | (#46220575)

There are a large number of ways that unskilled idiots can cause damage and loss of life. Oil on mountain road curves. Metal debris on railway tracks. Rocks dropped from highway overpasses. Poison in supermarket food. We can't use technology to protect against all of these. Lasers are a tricky problem since they are available in a variety of wavelengths, it isn't easy to make a filter that will stop all of them.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46219939)

Why is this a problem? By the time it gets to that height, your average laser pointer has diffused out larger than the plane itself. Does it set off laser-guided weapons detectors in the cockpit or something?

Re:So? (2)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about 6 months ago | (#46220111)

What height exactly? The height of an airplane taking off isn't really that high. Who says they're using average laser pointers? A beach I frequent sells those higher powered pointers. Some idiot was waving one around 1/4 to 1/2 mile away on the beach, and when it crossed my eyeball, it was a damned bright FLASH.

Re:So? (4, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#46220195)

Cretins are pointing these things at planes that are in the final stage of landing. And yes, at night these are enough to momentarily blind the pilot. Add a gust of wind or some other problem and you have a nice mass-murder.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220643)

So what you are saying is that the next 'terrorist attack' will be conducted by laser pointer? Seriously? If that is all it will take to bring down a plane we are in SERIOUS trouble. The fact that it has yet to happen might be an indication that it's not nearly the problem that its being made out to be. If it is a 'problem' than find a technical solution for reducing the glare/effect of the laser. A laser is a monochromatic beam of light & there are only a small set of colors to deal with, surely special glass or glasses can be developed using diffraction to filter out these intense colors.That the FAA isn't actively mandating such on all planes is a failure of the FAA, but I guess they'll wait for a plane to crash to do something about it, after all that's apparently how all 'new safety ideas' get implemented, nobody would have thought seat belts on a plane would be needed right?

babies. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46219943)

"required medical treatment" my foot they did. pussies wanted some time off to hit the golf club. "like a flash going off in a car at night" no... I've been there, this is BS, yes it lights up the cabin but it is _not_ like a flash going off in your face, and no one has ever lost an eye over it... as if you could track the laser in a common hand held pointer to stay on an eye ball target, inside the aircraft, while its moving, up in the sky.

    they just get prissy because someone is 'invading' their sacred secured space without authorization. some control loss has been suffered! terrorists man, terrorists! it must stop. high and mighty be they pilots, we demand respect and media attention.

Re:babies. (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#46220219)

You are wrong. Also take into account that some cretins use lasers that _can_ blind people permanently for this.

Re:babies. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#46220517)

The only real danger time is take off and landing. And pilots could wear anti-laser glasses at those times.

When a plane is in normal flight it's far too far away and fast moving to have any dangerous effect from a laser. Contrary to popular opinion laser light does diverge.

Think any different? Cite an example of a pilot with eye damage.

Re:babies. (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 6 months ago | (#46220611)

Do you want to simulate the experience? I'll get the laser pointer and the legal papers and you provide the soon-to-be-blind eyes?

It's easy to talk shit when being anonymous and clueless.

Profit Making Enterprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220019)

Are the fines for pointng a laser at an aircraft less than the reward for turning someone in? Are the penalties less for juveniles? If so, I know what my 4 kids will be doing when they get home from school today.... Come-on $40k! Daddy needs a new gaming rig.

Re:Profit Making Enterprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220101)

How the hell are you going to spend $40k on a gaming rig?

Re:Profit Making Enterprise? (4, Funny)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about 6 months ago | (#46220149)

Macintosh obviously.

Is this really a problem? (2, Interesting)

crmanriq (63162) | about 6 months ago | (#46220041)

Okay, so an el-cheapo red laser pointer at a range of 500 ft (Aircraft on approach).

Daylight - Can the pilot even see it?

Night time. At 500 feet, is it even as bright as his instrument lights? Between dust and moisture vapor is the beam even still anywhere close to focused?

Yeah, I know people can go and by multi-watt green lasers that can pop balloons from 100 yards. But to say that an el-cheapo red light wielded with harmless intent should be subject to the same penalties as a multi-watt laser wielded with intent to disrupt/harm seems to be going the whole zero-tolerance BS route.

I'm curious. Has anyone ever actually caused harm in US airspace with a laser pointer yet? Or are we creating a crime around something that has never caused harm?

Re:Is this really a problem? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220211)

Wow, you're a total moron. Shining lasers at aircraft is not harmless. I'd give you a link to a youtube video but probably better if you did the research yourself.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#46220235)

The problem with the wait until a plane crash formula is that during the congressional hearings, prior knowledge of a threat should be enough to kill the career of a bureaucrat.

Proactive overreaction is how your government has been conditioned to respond.

Realistic concerns like budgetary constraints are foreign to them.

Re:Is this really a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220243)

You can buy MUCH more powerful lasers than the el-cheapo red ones you're talking about for very little money.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:Is this really a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220277)

The problem is that laser light tends to illuminate the windshield of almost any type of aircraft, and even low powered lasers can blind pilots due to this effect.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

vortechs (604271) | about 6 months ago | (#46220281)

I think it's mostly idiots with something like this: http://www.wickedlasers.com/ [wickedlasers.com] A $5 red laser diode is probably not going to be noticed.

Re:Is this really a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220287)

I'm curious. Has anyone ever actually caused harm in US airspace with a laser pointer yet? Or are we creating a crime around something that has never caused harm?

I would like to know the answer to this myself. I agree that this is bad behavior, and is distracting, but given that this is happening 11 times a day, and there do not appear to be any serious repercussions, why do we need to shell out $10k checks?

Re:Is this really a problem? (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46220293)

Harm? well Helicopter pilots have been forced to land, and some have been temporarily blinded.

As for the rest of your argument, let me introduce you to my little friend:
http://www.wickedlasers.com/ar... [wickedlasers.com]

No all lasers are .005 watt pointers.

Re:Is this really a problem? (2)

crmanriq (63162) | about 6 months ago | (#46220665)

Which is why I specifically differentiated between the two in my post. There's a difference between driving at a reasonable speed and speeding. There's a difference between talking and a jet engine. There a difference between a harmless act and a harmful act.

Is it necessary to prosecute everyone who aims a laser pointer at a plane, or only those who aim multiwatt devices at cockpit windows?

I've had moron teenagers point a red laser at me at night while driving. It was annoying, but it did not make me crash my car. And this was from approximately 100 ft, not 500 or 5000.

 

Re:Is this really a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220313)

Are you suggesting we wait until there is a plane crash before implementing safety measures?

Re:Is this really a problem? (4, Insightful)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about 6 months ago | (#46220353)

Based on my experience with these things at a beach, yes, they're very bright at night, and far, far brighter than instrument lights. I'm not talking $5 laser pointer, but $30 higher output (still tens of mW) toys.

I'm curious. Has anyone ever actually caused harm in US airspace with a laser pointer yet? Or are we creating a crime around something that has never caused harm?

Has anyone ever caused harm on US highways with a laser pointer? If not, is it ok if they hang around on your route home and shine it in your eyes as you drive by? Again, based on my experience at the beach, having these things shined in my eyes as I'm driving would be a problem and a hazard. Does someone actually have to be hurt or killed before we say stop?

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#46220623)

Does someone actually have to be hurt or killed before we say stop?

Generally speaking, yes. There are an infinite number of potentially harmful or lethal things. Society usually waits until they've shown themselves to be actually harmful or legal.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220565)

I can say for a fact they (or anyone else) would have trouble seeing a cheap ~1-2mW red by day. I can't even see the dot from low-power reds on a surface illuminated by direct sunlight unless I already know where it is (or I'm close enough that it fills an appreciable angular diameter).

Now those bloody greens that are so bright that when a colloquium speaker uses them I involuntarily wince are another matter... One of my profs in a laser lab, out of curiosity, fired a cheap "5mW" green into a real photometer. Turns out that "cheap" equals "does not have an IR filter" so you're also getting 100mW or more of the IR (1064nm) that got through the frequency doubler crystal...

Is a drone an aircraft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220047)

What are the rules for pointing a laser pointer at a drone? A drone operating before 500'? 50'?

Re:Is a drone an aircraft? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#46220165)

What are the rules for pointing a laser pointer at a drone? A drone operating before 500'? 50'?

Parts of Colorado permit the use of firearms, but they should update it to include more modern weapons too.

Re:Is a drone an aircraft? (1)

mmell (832646) | about 6 months ago | (#46220381)

(You) *paints drone with laser*

(Drone operator) yells "I see light." and deploys a Hellfire guided missile to ride the laser beam down to target.

Fade out and roll closing credits.

How to get $10,000 for free... (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46220079)

1) Own a Cessna.

2) Aim a laser at it in the safety of your hangar.

3) ???

4) Profit!!!

Re:How to get $10,000 for free... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 months ago | (#46220143)

1) Own a Cessna.

2) Aim a laser at it in the safety of your hangar.

3) ???

4) Profit!!!

And then be arrested for doing something that should be legal, but isn't.

1. Trick kid into shining laser at aircraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220141)

2. Turn him in.
3. Profit!
4. Repeat

Re:1. Trick kid into shining laser at aircraft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220415)

I was (only for a moment before my conscience decided to get in the way of my greed....) thinking about hiring homeless people to do it....

Some of them after a case of beer probably wouldn't even require further payment.

Maybe find some of those drunken homeless people with only a slim grasp of reality in the first place and tell them that this laser will help fight off the alien invasion, post the video on youtube for some bonus cash.

Get 2 or 3 of them a month and retire after a couple of years.

Well lasers are getting better.. (1)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about 6 months ago | (#46220151)

I think people must be doing this out of boredom. With fun lasers like these [trinaryproducts.com] people can find more constructive things to do with them.

Not your friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220169)

I'll sell all you suckers out!

Truth or Dare (1)

Supp0rtLinux (594509) | about 6 months ago | (#46220197)

If they take "dare" you're $1000 richer. Just make sure you videotape them for proof so it can lead to an arrest. I see a potential to make a lot of money and to widdle down the stupid pool all in one shot here...

Re:Truth or Dare (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 6 months ago | (#46220459)

Downside: You must endanger the lives of hundreds of innocents (or more if the plane crashes into a stadium or something).

Seems overblown issue (1)

tomkost (944194) | about 6 months ago | (#46220217)

According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] it's only a real danger when the aircraft are on final approach and below 4000ft. In this case, the person with the laser should know better and it should be easier to find them. Even kids can imagine it's not good to blind or distract the pilot when they are trying to land. When the plane is cruising at 30k feet, I doubt this is even visible much less a problem.

Re:Seems overblown issue (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 6 months ago | (#46220425)

In this case, the person with the laser should know better and it should be easier to find them.

That's your answer? Lasers aren't really a problem because the people using them should know better, and they should be easy to catch? Good one!

Re:Seems overblown issue (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 6 months ago | (#46220493)

It's not overblown because it is happening on landing and approach, otherwise it wouldn't be noticed. And no people are not smart enough to not attempt mass murder.

Simple (4, Funny)

The Cat (19816) | about 6 months ago | (#46220275)

Felony prosecution. 25 years to life. No parole. Must register on the "laser pointing offenders" list. Driver's license suspended. Credit Score cut to one. Automatic bankruptcy. All assets forfeited. House fuel air bombed, bulldozed, soil salted and paved over with pig iron, rocks and low grade cement.

Must stand on a chair and sing the "I AM A VERY BAD PERSON" song while applying for any job. Five million dollar fine paid in equal daily installments for 35 years. Not allowed to date, marry or smile at anyone.

Must appear in at least five television commercials a year (at own expense) to announce "I am a poopy face" while dressed up like a cartoon airplane and being physically kicked in the ass by a sunglasses-wearing security officer with a blinking overlay of name and social security number.

If not 18 yet, then the parents and grandparents are all prosecuted instead.

And no laughing.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220547)

I dunno, I think you're being too lenient....

Has anybody even LOOKED at a jumbo jet lately? (1)

mmell (832646) | about 6 months ago | (#46220291)

There are no ground-facing windows to the best of my knowledge, and on the flight deck it's practically impossible to see much below the aircraft (at least from the Pilot's seat).

Perhaps someone from one of the airlines or better still the FAA could demonstrate just how disruptive a laser pointer is to flight operations? At 30,000 feet, I suspect that 2-3mm beam will already be scattered to several feet (with an attendant loss of intensity). On takeoff or final approach somebody might be able to paint the flight deck windows with a laser, but that puts yon numbskull in a very specific place (trespassing on airport property?), subject to monitoring and arrest.

Question - we are detecting all of these laser strikes on commercial aircraft. Have we detected any instances where it has actually posed a significant obstacle to safe flight operations? Not the "oh the red flash distracted me for an instant, we could have crashed!" hysteria, but some real "I was blinded for several seconds requiring the co-pilot to assume command briefly". I'm going to be honest - in my passenger car, those red flashing lights in the rearview mirror really mess with my ability to drive; but it's more than a momentary flash. With a lack of visible feedback, how many people can continuously paint the windshield of a jumbo jet in flight for more than a fraction of a second?

Re:Has anybody even LOOKED at a jumbo jet lately? (1)

hax4bux (209237) | about 6 months ago | (#46220441)

The world is bigger than "jumbo jets". When the police or medical services come, they are not driving a "jumbo jet" - and yes there are documented cases of of helicopter crews being incapacitated from a laser incident.

Re:Has anybody even LOOKED at a jumbo jet lately? (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 6 months ago | (#46220593)

oh no .. common sense? That's probably a 25K fine. And those who "cite" anything just keep ranting about "some helicopter pilot who was incapacitated". Perhaps the laser "attack" was just an excuse for something else? Or a desire to get attention? It would hardly be the first time someone claimed injury for publicity.

the FBI? let's get the NSA on this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220323)

First thing to do is track all purchases made by everyone ever. Then track everyone's location using mobile phones, satellite imagery, and RFID embedded in shoes. Collect the data in a massive data bunker in Colorado Springs. Hire a dozen of the nations finest data crunchers for $45k salary. Triangulate flight paths with likely suspects using a GUI written in Visual Basic (as a SharePoint plugin). Problem solved!

any damages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220355)

If there were that many incidents, was there any damage? It seems like a sufficiently large sample to determine if there's a real risk or not...

Not an issue before green pointers became common. (1)

rayd75 (258138) | about 6 months ago | (#46220361)

So we should ban green laser pointers, right? Clearly, they're the problem since this wasn't happening when red pointers were all but the only option. No. The problem is that pilots, in the pitch black of night can see beams of green laser pointers off somewhere in the distance. With no useful reference for actual distance and nothing else in the night sky to compare it to, the pilots assume they're very nearby and must be being pointed at them. I have no doubt that some aircraft have had a beam enter the cabin or that some small number of pilots have witnessed a brief flash as a beam quickly crossed one of his or her eyes. That said, this is only now epidemic because pointers with visible beams are commonplace.

Music festivals (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 6 months ago | (#46220383)

Wow, I'm gonna get rich at Bonnaroo this year! Every time the damn medical helicopter, photography helicopter, or sheriff's plane goes near the festival grounds, multiple people point green lasers at them. Gotta make sure to get the number of the local FBI field office, I guess. I'm not sure how musicians are never blinded at music festivals, since there are always idiots pointing lasers everywhere.

Hire the homeless! (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 6 months ago | (#46220435)

Sounds like a great money-making scheme to me. Get some drugged up homeless guy convinced it's a space ship and that he'd be helping to shoot it down and then capture the video on your phone for evidence and poof! $10,000!

Crashes?? Injuries?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46220481)

Honest and serious questions
4000 reported strikes per year but there never seems to be verified reports of crashes, forced landings, or even documented injuries to pilots.

how many crashes? seems to be zero
how many injures? can't seem to find any verified injuries. Found a few that said pilot blinded but then later no actual injuries.

Is this really a national security issue??

Christmas Presents! (1)

PackMan97 (244419) | about 6 months ago | (#46220607)

I know what all the neighborhood hooligans are getting for Christmas! LASER POINTERS!

I also know what I'll be getting for New Years, $10,000!

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