Since drones have become available and affordable to many civilians, there’s been growing concern with how they could accidentally or intentionally interfere with aircraft in flight. As the FAA is attempting to catch up with regulation that reflects this technology, there’s a new problem that’s affecting planes in-flight. In thousands of incidents, green lasers have been used from the ground and pointed at cockpits in the year.
Image Source: ABC News
“It’s a sudden flash that can flash-blind you to the point that you can’t really see what you’re doing. If it gets both eyes, which is possible, the pilot’s going to be fairly well out of the loop. […] Our nightmare scenario here is getting a pilot – either one or two pilots, however many there are in the cockpit – so flash-blinded that he or she can’t land the airplane, can’t even see to fly it. You wouldn’t think of a little green laser as having the power to bring down an airplane full of people, but if you get the eyes of pilots flash-blinded at the wrong moment, you can do that – and you could end up killing 400 people.”
Since green lasers are considerably more dangerous than familiar red lasers, there is growing concern whether these specific types of lasers should be so readily available to civilians, especially when many are unaware of just how dangerous they can be when misused.