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. northerstar

    Perhaps the FBI should be investigating these attacks rather than emails of nutty women from Tampa.

    November 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. An Independent Voter

    Reading your remarks tells me you must be a Tea Partier. And, sir, it is people such as you and remarks such as this that helped Romney lose the election. Barack Obama is our President, the majority of Americans in every category expect white mailes over 50, gave the President their votes. And we, as Americans, support our elected leaders. Got it!!

    November 23, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • An Independent Voter, too

      Words of wisdom. Timeless, whether 2012 or 2004.

      November 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • gf

      We support our elected leaders? What America do you live in? Republicans didn't respect Clinton. Democrats didn't respect Bush. Republicans don't respect Obama. This is to generalize ... all of these straight-ballot party people definitely don't respect anybody but their own, a bunch of prejudicial Americans they are.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. onjofilms

    Not sure why they don't wear laser proof glasses, or even laser proof windshields. When I used lasers for alignment purposes, we had cheap goggles that would only block laser light.

    November 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dr Evil

    Maybe he shouldn't have flown over my secret lair, containing sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads!

    November 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marlon Myers

    I agree with SciGuy73, This seems unbelievable, If its that simple those Jets should come with a very expensive Pair of Sunglasses

    November 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Regular sunglasses will not stop or help with a green laser. The glasses needed are close to the same used for welding and can not be worn at all times.

      November 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • hansGruber

      Actually, there are glasses that will protect the pilots from laser lights, which are routinely used in Physics labs, also the canopy can be upgraded by reflective coating that will not affect visibility.- as to comment of green lasers – most pointers are red and the above measures do cover green laser. The reason no measure has been taken is because is a rare occurrence, 20 to 30 a year in over a million flights, and bureaucracy.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. irreperabledamage

    Why do the terrorists try to use hijacking? Seems they could pack up a case of laser pointers and camp outside an airport. Can you imagine this pilot telling his story to a Vietnam era pilot, a gulf fighter pilot, or someone like Captain Sullivan? "Yeah, it was pretty bad man, red light, friendly skies, but we squeaked it out".

    November 28, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • UFC iTard

      Because Coast Guard emergency landings are not quite as terrorizing as passenger planes crashing into buildings.

      November 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Zarf Hunter

    ... What does this have to do with a laser pointer bringing down a coast guard jet?

    November 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. FifthGeneration

    This is absurd! The punishment should be defined as 'attempted murder' ... until the plane crashes, when it becomes murder. There is no reason this behavior should be tolerated. Every attempt should be made to locate the perpertrator(s), & to bring the maximum penalties to the table.

    November 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JeffinVAB

    I had no idea they let babies fly planes in the Coast Guard.

    November 30, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Blinkers

    Probably some hippies disco light…yeah, let ‘em smoke more pot.

    December 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gf

    This doesn't have to do with lasers. Obama has at least tried for some cross-partisan cooperation. Unfortunately, most republicans are too stubborn to negotiate, and the rest of Obama's party is too proud to give in.

    December 4, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
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