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Crime Transportation Your Rights Online

Laser Strikes On Aircraft Becoming Epidemic 687

First time accepted submitter AlphaWolf_HK writes "Ars Technica has a story about a 52 year old man who was arrested and sentenced to three years in jail for shining a high powered green laser at a helicopter along with an interesting video showing how he was tracked down. The FBI says that laser strikes are becoming epidemic, saying that they expect to see reports of 3,700 of them this year."
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Laser Strikes On Aircraft Becoming Epidemic

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  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

    by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @06:33PM (#41572097)
    We used to have the same problem in Australia. They took the outright ban approach here, it has massively reduced the incidents, not sure if I am in favour of that approach or not, but can't deny it has worked.
  • What now? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Petersko ( 564140 ) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @07:04PM (#41572393)
    "One of the most natural things in the world a kid with a lazer pointer will do is shine it straight up into the sky."

    Good lord.

    First of all, the odds that a kid would shine a laser into the sky and accidentally hit an aircraft are... well, stupendously low. The laser point is incredibly tiny, and the sky is incredibly large. And the slightest movement of the hand holding the laser has huge implications at the distance where an aircraft would intersect it. If it's not trained and held on the target, it would never be noticed.

    So, "no" to whatever point you're making.
  • by Mojo66 ( 1131579 ) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @07:09PM (#41572441)

    But the orientation of the polarization is unknown. It could be adjusted by the pilot but wouldn't prevent an initial surprise effect. It is practically useless.

  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @07:09PM (#41572449)
    Duh? You mean the navy aircraft fly directly over civilian dwellings during final approach. I think that is the problem here.

    When that base was built 50 years ago, it was only farmland around it. Money corrupts, land gets sold, and the Navy has been bitching about it for years.
  • Re:Sysiphus (Score:2, Informative)

    by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @07:20PM (#41572543)

    There should also be massive penalties for massacring the English language. "Becoming endemic", not "becoming epidemic".

  • Re:What now? (Score:5, Informative)

    by AlphaWolf_HK ( 692722 ) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @08:55PM (#41573263)

    Actually there are some links in TFA where they mention that after 500 feet, the light will have spread to a six foot radius. Further, when it hits the plexi glass of the cockpit, it scatters which illuminates the entire cockpit with a rather blinding light.

  • Re:Good. (Score:4, Informative)

    by e3m4n ( 947977 ) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @10:26PM (#41573861)

    agreed, this is my biggest complaint against the gun control idiots. They seem to think that if you ban every gun out there, suddenly people would stop getting killed. People were getting killed long before the invention of the firearm. There's murders all the time in Israel, they dont do it with guns, the strap an explosive vest on and blow themselves and everyone else to hell. You cant legislate crazy. If someone wants to commit mass murder declaring something illegal isnt going to stop them. Murder has been illegal since the founding of this country .. if passing a law was all it took to prevent deaths, we should never have a need to ban more specific weapons.. we covered it with the whole 'dont murder' law.

  • by petermgreen ( 876956 ) <plugwashNO@SPAMp10link.net> on Saturday October 06, 2012 @10:45PM (#41573985) Homepage

    There are two similar but slightly different classificaion systems, the old system (still used in the US) uses roman numerals for the classes while the new system uses arabic numerals. Basically class 1 is no risk of damage, class 2 is very little risk of damage. Class 3R (roughly equivilent to IIIA) is a bit more hazardous, class 3b worse still and class IV you don't even want to look at difuse reflections of it.

    Most laser pointers are class II but some of the powerful ones are class 3B.

    Note that if a laser beam is totally enclosed with interlocks to prevent accidental release the class of the laser system can be lower than the class of the laser contained within. This is the case with things like CD/DVD burners and laser printers. The laser is class 3B but the system as a whole is class 1.

  • Re:Good. (Score:2, Informative)

    by bonehead ( 6382 ) on Sunday October 07, 2012 @12:01AM (#41574329)

    I'm not an asshole, but I do occasionally say things that cause idiots to accuse me of being one. I don't let it bother me much.

    And I've got plenty of karma to burn, too. I don't let that issue bother me much, either. My "fuck you both" post is the most down-modded thing I've written here in years, and even that post got up-modded enough that it's actually a net karma gain.

    Go figure.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay