Mason County Deputies Investigate Lasers Pointed At Planes
"It is very serious. To most people it’s just a childish gag.You know point a laser pointer at something but they need to be educated on the dangers of lasers in the eyes of pilots or anyone," said pilot and flight instructor Robert Ericson.
The Mason County Sheriff’s Department now has 2 reports of someone shining lasers into the cockpits of planes.
Both times the planes were making their final approach to the Mason County Airport.
Robert Ericson, a pilot and flight instructor, says it’s disturbing that people think no one will get hurt. But in reality, it can be detrimental to a pilot’s vision.
"There’s guys that were taken off flying for months because their vision was ruined for awhile. Quite often what someone could think is a harmless joke could be harmful to someone," said Ericson.
The sheriff’s department does have a location of where they think both incidents came from.
Deputies are searching the area they think the light is coming from to try to find out more information.
But right now they don’t know who is doing it, or why.
"We are just hoping it’s someone who doesn’t understand that when you put a laser at an aircraft in the air that it can be a very dangerous situation for not only the pilot but for anyone else on board," said Stephen Hansen, the Chief Deputy of the Mason County Sheriff’s Office.
The Federal Aviation Administration does take laser strikes very seriously, and they could fine people for each incident.
Elizabeth Cory from the FAA says, "The FAA could impose civil penalties of up to 11 thousand dollars per event. We do consider laser strikes very dangerous for pilots.
The Mason County Sheriff’s Department asks for anyone with more information to call them.