FAA: Eight more lasers pointed at planes in Dallas

The Federal Aviation Administration and Dallas police are investigating eight more incidents of lasers being pointed at planes on Sunday night alone.

The incident involved seven Southwest Airlines flights and one private plane.

All of them were on approach to Dallas Love Field, and all of the incidents happened between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

In one case, a Southwest pilot says he actually suffered an eye injury from the laser.

Aviation consultant Denny Kelly calls it a significant problem with no end in sight.

“So far, we've been lucky, and nobody's been seriously hurt,” he said. ”But it's getting worse, and the potential is there to bring down an airplane.”

Chris Manno is a commercial pilot who has flown with a major carrier for 30 years – 24 of them as captain.

Before that, he flew for seven years as an Air Force pilot.

He says he's experienced his share of laser hits. He thinks they're not necessarily dangerous; just distracting.

“You probably have to really concentrate on the source of the light, which is fleeting at best because we're moving at least 200 miles an hour,” he said. “So I don’t know how other than staring at the light source, you could have any type of injury.”

Manno says the only likely way that an eye injury could happen is if the person is in front of the plane at the end of the runway, and that's impossible.

He notes that lightning strikes and bird strikes are cause for concern, but lasers? Not so much.

“It to be an oblique angle from the side,” he said. “It'll light up the cockpit like lightning. It tends to be very brief…again, it's a nuisance. And on the level of nuisances that we worry about in flight, this is very low.”

There has been an major uptick in the number of laser strikes; more than 5,000 nationwide and about 140, give or take, in North Texas for the year so far.

Whether you think laser strikes are dangerous or not, they’re a felony.


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