Lasers are in the news again -- alas, not because of some
scientific development, but instead because at least 16 pilots
landing their planes at Detroit Metro Airport in a single night
report having been flashed by potentially blinding, focused beams
It all happened Monday night, according to FAA spokeswoman
Elizabeth Isham Cory. Pilots told the FAA the beams appeared to
come from the area around the suburbs of Dearborn and Dearborn
Heights, west of the Detroit metroplex.
It was the second rash of laser light-ups reported at Metro over
the past six months. Since the end of 2004, the Associated Press
counts 305 laser incidents nationwide.
"We treat it as a very serious matter," FBI Special Agent Dawn
Clenney said. "Laser beams can disorient pilots responsible for an
airplane full of passengers."
Under the Patriot Act, laser spotlighting of aircraft is
considered a terrorist act, punishable by up to 20-years in prison.
Authorities haven't yet found who shone the laser beams at the