Laser beams strike Boeing 737s over weekend

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When lasers strike aircraft

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that 3 jet airplanes were struck by laser beams upon approach to Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, Washington, over the past couple of days.

The most recent jetliner to be hit by a laser beam happened at around 7:30 pm yesterday, Sunday, October 27, 2019. The Boeing 737-900 was struck by a blue laser while heading northeast at approximately 16 miles southeast of Sea-Tac Airport.

The second aircraft – a Boeing 737-800 – was hit 3 1/2 hours later. It was traveling from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Seattle. This jet was also lit up by a blue laser on the right side of the airplane’s fuselage.

Prior to this, a Boeing 737 traveling from Kauai, Hawaii, to Seattle was the first aircraft to be hit by a laser beam – this time green and white. The incident happened at around 8:00 pm on Friday, October 25, 2019. The Boeing jet was about 18 miles south of Olympia, Washington.

Given the fact that 3 aircraft were struck over 2 days in the same area, the questions that obviously arise are: was it deliberate, and was it done by the same individual?

The problem of lasers being aimed at aircraft is particularly dangerous if the beam lights up the cockpit. This can not only create a visual distraction it can even damage the pilot’s eyes. The FAA has reported that in some instances, pilots have had to relinquish control of their aircraft to their copilot.

Lasers are becoming so prevalent in some areas of the country that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the FAA, the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), as well as State and local law enforcement, have established a Laser Strike Working Group to address the problem.

FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer stated that nobody was hurt from any of the laser incidents that occurred over the weekend.