Two years in jail for pointing a laser at a plane

The “sport” of pointing a laser pointer at a plane is not new – many people have been arrested for the stupid stunt.

Last week was a first though – someone caught pointing their laser at two planes was arrested, and sentenced to two and a half years in jail.

His first target was a United Airlines plane carrying 180 passengers. When the beam hit the cockpit window, the pilot caught it right in the eye, causing “flash blindness”. The second target was an Alaska Airlines jet, this time the pilot was able to duck below a glare shield, but did have to abort a critical turn.

There appears to be no shortage of stupidity in the world, and shining a laser pointer at a jet just reinforces that. I’m not even sure what is going through the mind of someone who thinks this is a fun game.

These planes are carrying a lot of people, and in many cases they are on their final approach, one of the most critical parts of the entire flight. To me, two and a half year is on the short side – but hopefully it’ll still send a message to anyone else who was thinking of messing around with their laser pointer.