FAA says green laser pointed at three commercial planes over NJ
A green laser was pointed at three different commercial airplanes over New Jersey on Saturday night, according to the FAA.
Pilots of each of the aircraft said that their cockpits were illuminated by green lasers while flying over New Jersey, FAA officials said. No injuries were reported in any of the cases.
Knowingly aiming the light of a laser pointer at an aircraft is a federal crime. The lasers can distract pilots during landing and takeoff and can cause them temporary blindness, according to the FAA.
The first plane to report a laser light on Saturday was Delta Air Lines Flight 2907, an Airbus A321, headed to LaGuardia from Atlanta.
It was flying in an east/northeast direction 10 miles southeast of Robbinsville when the pilot said a green laser illuminated the cockpit at 7:10 p.m., according to the FAA. The flight was descending from an altitude of 9,000 feet.
Two other flights were on approach to JFK from Los Angeles — Alaska Airlines Flight 468, a Boeing 737, and JetBlue Flight 124, an Airbus A320 —when both pilots said a green light filled each cockpit around 8:40 p.m., FAA officials said.
The JetBlue flight was eight miles south of Lakewood flying north at 12,000 feet, according to the FAA.
State Police were notified by the FAA but did not immediately return a message. The FAA is investigating the incidents and did not disclose the exact origin of the light.
Back in April, FAA officials said heightened public awareness of the serious safety risk posed by lasers helped reduce the total number of laser strikes for a second consecutive year.
The FAA reported 5,663 laser incidents in 2018, down from 6,754 in 2017 and 7,398 in 2016.
In the same press release, the FAA said the substantial number of reported incidents last year clearly shows that laser strikes on aircraft remain a serious threat to aviation safety.
Earlier Saturday in an unrelated incident at Newark Liberty International Airport a United Airlines flight from Denver with 166 passengers on board skidded off the runway upon landing. The FAA said the plane skidded off the pavement and its landing gear became stuck in a grassy area, but United spokesman Robert Einhorn said the plane remained on the runway.
The airline said some passengers with minor injuries refused medical attention and no one was seriously injured.
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