Sheriff's Helicopter Pilots Blinded by Laser Light

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

WINTER PARK, Florida -- October 21, 2012

The Seminole County Sheriff's Office says its helicopter pilots had to stop pursuing a burglary suspect because they were blinded by a laser pointer aimed at them from the ground.

Chief pilot Steve Farris tells WFTV in Orlando that the man said he shined the laser at the helicopter because he wanted to see how far the beam could stretch.

The sheriff's office says the pilots were temporarily blinded as the laser flashed through the cockpit eight times. The helicopter was 800 feet off the ground.

Authorities say the man faces multiple charges. Pointing a laser at a pilot is a felony.

The FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration also are investigating. It is a federal offense to shine a laser pointer at an aircraft or into its path.


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