November 6th, 2012
05:15 PM ET

Laser pointer forces emergency landing of Coast Guard jet

A U.S. Coast Guard aircrew member on a surveillance jet suffered temporary vision problems when a laser pointer aimed at the plane filled the cabin with blinding light on approach to Corpus Christi International Airport, the agency said Tuesday.

The incident happened Monday, the Coast Guard said in a news release.

"The laser directly hit one of our crew members while conducting an instrument approach and it filled the cockpit with a blinding light. We had to conduct an emergency landing and one of our crew members was sent to the Bay Area Emergency Room," aircraft commander Lt. Philip Thisse said in the release.

The unidentified crew member was expected to make a full recovery, the Coast Guard said.

The unidentified crew member was expected to make a full recovery, the Coast Guard said.

Monday's incident is the third of its type since June for aircrews stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi, the Coast Guard said. A nearby Navy air station has reported two other incidents, it said.

Targeting aircraft with lasers is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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Filed under: Texas • U.S. Coast Guard
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Lasers that strong should definitely be illegal.

    November 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • SciGuy73

      This is such bs. If it was that easy to blind a pilot with a laser pointer, insurgents in war zones would be decimating our air force with a box full of laser pointers.

      November 24, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      They do not use red laser pointers they are using green laser pointers. The green are a lot stronger and will reach as far as 2 miles with the hand held versions.

      November 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rascal Rabble

    okay how does a tiny red laser beam blinds an entire cabin??? doesn't make since to me...

    November 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • cgretired

      Maybe if you got hit in the eye with one it would begin to make "sinse" to you.

      November 8, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Cuervo Jones

      When you hit a curved windshield it defracts?

      November 13, 2012 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Havoc287

      Its entirely possible that it wasn't a red laser. Nowadays you can purchase green lasers fro relatively cheap that can be seen miles away.

      November 23, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. Portland tony

    There has to be countermeasures against this sort of attack. I mean other than hot firing a missile at the laser's point of origin! What happens in a combat zone?

    November 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ck

      I agree. Windshields with clear particles embedded in the glass that reflect rather than transmit the laser would be great.

      November 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Actually, laser guided missiles isn't a half bad idea. Just make them non-explosive and let loose on these idiots. Imagine their surprise when a missile is slamming into them, not so clever any more, are ya?

      November 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Seriously?
    I don't even spell it out, and I get deleted?
    I hope whoever is responsible for this is found and the book thrown at them; this is reprehensible and could cause an air fatality.
    Dolts.

    November 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. ma & pa

    Have that reflective windshield amplify and focus the laser back onto it's instigator. Then track the pained noise and arrest it's sourse.

    November 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Bill

    Regretfully ultra high powered lasers with both blue and green lights are available online. They are mfg in the US and offered for sale to anyone, including shipment to outside of our country. Congress or possibly the justice department should try to make them illegal. I hope they at least track the purchasers.

    November 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • dou44

      Yes, by all means pass more laws and limit the market of goods available for civilians to buy. Freedom isn't free of course. LOL.

      November 25, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Make paper illegal too. Nasty papercuts will be a thing of the past. Also make anything sharp illegal too, that will stop everyone from getting hurt. Fool.

      November 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      dou an ian, I also agree that our freedoms are slowly being taken away but there are items that idiots should not be allowed to have. The green and blue lasers serve no useful purpose out side of military and scientific circles.

      November 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Me

    I think they shouldn't be shined in peoples or kitties eyes. Cats love to chase them but you need to be careful and not let the dot shine on the kitty.

    November 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tim

    I wish. They need to go to the store and get us some. I'll ask them.

    We hope you have a happy evening.

    November 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Dr. Davide Roem

    Stop it, both of you. Jeffrey Grant, you have strayed far from your Judaism. Come back to the fold before God wahes his hands of you.

    November 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Dr. Davide Roem:
    Really? "...before God wahes his hands of you."? I don't know anything about your Doctorate. And really? I don't want to know ANYTHING about your doctorate. Looks to me like you should indulge in some PORK CHOPS, or maybe a rack of BABY SPARE RIBS, before you come back on here...O.K.?

    November 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. chrissy

    Who says Obamas losin? lol

    November 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. chrissy

    And hello to you too little mister. I think you had a relatively good idea on the laser deflector, surprised its not been done already tho.

    November 6, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. chrissy

    Ummm Rascal, he DIDNT lose! ;)

    November 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mickey1313

      And thank goodness that the vast majority saw thru the romney lies

      November 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Mickey1313, really shows smarts they fell for Obama's bigger lies.

      November 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TvNyC

    The aliens are here.

    November 7, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Obama Voter

    Are you at home, right at this very minute, cuddled up in a fetal position wiping those tears of defeat from your face? Another 4 years pal. Eat it=)

    November 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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