The TSA and DHS in our area have asked us to pass along this request for assistance from local pilots. Apparently there have been an increasing number of incidents where several individuals in the Bay Area have flashed a green light laser into the cockpit of aircraft (including commercial airliners) flying over the various metropolitan areas and to our south near Morgan Hill. This area is one of the highest incident rate areas in the country, primarily due to the high tech nature of the residents and easy availability of green light lasers in the market place. Green light lasers are more powerful than the simple red “pointers” used for presentations, laser levels and other short range pointing functions, and can cause serious eye injury if seen without proper eye protection. In addition the beam from most green lasers is visible at night which unfortunately makes it easier to track and point at distant objects like airplanes and helicopters. Intentionally flashing a green laser into the cockpit of an aircraft is a federal offense (felony) and is punishable by fine and imprisonment. If you have seen a green laser flashed at you while flying in the Bay Area, or know of someone who has, please contact the San Francisco FBI office number (415) 553-7400.
It is especially important that you report your position as soon as possible when flashed by a laser, so try to pinpoint your position with either lat/long, streets, landmarks or by tower/approach control radar tracking before calling the authorities.