Laser pointers are helpful when used appropriately, but they can also be extremely dangerous if used in the wrong way, such as when the laser light is pointed at flying airplanes. When pointed at airplanes, the laser light can distract or blind the pilot and cause a serious accident.
Ian Gregor works for the Federal Aviation Administration. He is the Public Affairs Manager. What Gregor likes most about his job is talking about airplanes and aviation, and talking to reporters.
Gregor says there have been no accidents involving laser pointers, but in the past, pilots have had to hand over control of the airplane to their co-pilots because of temporary blindness. Phoenix has the highest number of laser pointer incidents in the country. In 2015, 263 cases were reported of airplanes being hit by laser pointers in Phoenix alone.
Police search for the people responsible for pointing lasers at airplanes. Usually, kids are the ones pointing lasers. If an adult is caught, they get five years in federal prison and pay a $250,000 fine.
Gregor wants kids to know never to point lasers at airplanes because it is very dangerous and incredibly irresponsible.