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Laser incidents among pilots on the rise

September 16, 2011, 05:56 pm

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, incidences of laser pointers being shone at aircraft is increasing. An article in the Orlando Sentinel notes that pilots across the United States report laser beams on an average of nine times a night. In response to the growing problem, the FAA issued a civil penalty of $11,000 for offenders who are convicted of shining a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft.

In 2010, there were 2,776 laser aircraft incidents in the United States. The FAA predicts that number to increase by 35 percent in 2011, according to the source. Pilots and officials alike say the practice, while typically fueled by curiosity, is extremely dangerous.

"It can give you the sensation that you are about to have a midair collision," Steve Farris, chief pilot for the Seminole County Sheriff's Office told the source. "That can force the pilot to take unnecessary evasion action and perhaps result in a crash."

The threat of laser pointer interference is somewhat unique to a pilot's experience. Many aviators choose to take out a pilot insurance plan to cover the risks and natural insurance specializations that come with being an aviator. Many pilot and aviator associations offer advice and discounted group rates for pilot insurance policies.

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