Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Laser reportedly hits incoming plane in Myrtle Beach; no landing problems reported
Sun News ^ | Sunday, May. 27, 2012 | Lorena Anderson

Posted on 05/27/2012 8:34:01 PM PDT by PilotDave

An inbound airplane’s windshield was hit with a laser beam fired from east of the runway at Myrtle Beach International Airport about 10 p.m. Sunday, but no landing problems were reported.

Myrtle Beach Police Lt. Doug Furlong said the laser strike was reported, but investigations found nothing to follow up on.

“I’m sure it did happen, though,” he said.

(Excerpt) Read more at myrtlebeachonline.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: aviation; laser
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041 next last
To: babygene
A little further note:

The Myrtle Beach runway is almost exactly oriented North-South. So irradiation from the east would lend a little credence to your "shooting a duck" theory -- that is, it would take pretty good aiming coordination to keep the beam on-track with the cockpit. But one would not have to "lead" the target -- no time of transition with light -- not quite as difficult as with ducks -- just need a good scope. On landing or takeoff, its not as hard as, say, shooting woodcock or partridges. (They're up close, faster, and trickier that an aircraft taking off or landing.)

However, if you had flown MB as often as I used to, you would have noted that the civilian and military runways adjoin and were parallel. Therefore, lasers aimed toward the runway would have gotten the attention of the APs as well as the civilian cops. No wonder this is given a paragraph of warning in the local blatt. The perpetrator may yet find a visitation from the DHS, especially if there is a repetition of this incident. (The airbase was closed in 1993.)

The other posters also have got some good points. One is that I think Rayleigh scattering by the laser beam passing through the windshield would not be significant. In fact, the angle of inicidence might be low enough that a beam from the east would just bounce off the front windshield without entering the cabin. One would have to keep hitting the side window to catch the driver's eye. And at that stage, he's not likely to be scrutinizing anything but his forward path.

just supposin' --- (isn't this analyzing getting kind of boring??)

21 posted on 05/28/2012 4:00:21 AM PDT by imardmd1 (from a former spectroscopist, and also a subject of laser peripheral iridotomy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: PilotDave

The army has laser-defeating glass. Perhaps this stuff needs to go into commercial aviation windows....


22 posted on 05/28/2012 4:05:52 AM PDT by Lazamataz (People who resort to Godwin's Law are just like Hitler.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: babygene
I’m the laser expert, you guys are not... Obviously I’ve been working with and building lasers for over 30 years. Why do you suppose our military aircraft has not been effected by these things in Iran and Afghanistan? It is true that you can buy a 3000 MW laser (red, green or blue)on eBay for $40, that can run from a “d” cell. It’s even legal to buy them. Even if they wanted to outlaw them, a Blur ray CD player contains one and there have been millions of them manufactured and distributed. The fact is that even though they are dangerous, some (the IR variety) are very dangerous close up. they are of little use for a terrorist weapon. If you want to believe the hype in the media, that’s quite OK with me.

Can't just gracefully admit you jumped too fast and without thinking?

It' really simple - any bright light introduced to the eye (and the eye cannot react faster than light to protect itself) can diminish visual acutity for a varying period of time, which can cause potential danger if a pilot's vision is compromised. Just because the laser "isn't powerful enough to cause damage" doesn't mean squat - a co-worker suffered burn from such a laser when it caught his eyeglasses and evidently got focused a bit tighter. You may be an "expert" in lasers, but you obviously aren't an expert in how they can affect the human eye or how a simple thing like a piece of glass, with a small defect can increase the effective strength like a magnifying glass focuses light.

23 posted on 05/28/2012 4:44:17 AM PDT by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: yarddog

I use a red laser pen - bought 10 ($6.99ea) of ‘em as gifts for self, family and friends - for improving eye-hand (CCW) coordination while not on shooting range. I aim at all kinds of things around the office and at home, and have surprised customers/family when they walked in my office door. LOL. 2 AAA batteries and that thing carries 200yds, easily.


24 posted on 05/28/2012 5:57:10 AM PDT by carriage_hill (All liberals & most demoncraps think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: yarddog

I use a red laser pen - bought 10 ($6.99ea) of ‘em as gifts for self, family and friends - for improving eye-hand (CCW) coordination while not on shooting range. I aim at all kinds of things around the office and at home, and have surprised customers/family when they walked in my office door. LOL. 2 AAA batteries and that thing carries 200yds, easily.


25 posted on 05/28/2012 6:01:07 AM PDT by carriage_hill (All liberals & most demoncraps think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: babygene
The devices we are talking about are in the MW range

Yeah, that'll do it.


26 posted on 05/28/2012 7:42:07 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: imardmd1

“just supposin’ -— (isn’t this analyzing getting kind of boring??)”

You can safely try this yourself...

At dusk with a red laser pointer in your hand point it at a stop sign 300 meters away. If you hit it the reflective paint will light up really bright and you’ll see it. it’s really difficult to do, but you may see a flash of red. You can’t hold your hand steady enough to keep the beam on the stop sign. With a tripod you could, but it would be like adjusting a telescope to look at a planet or star.

(Now if you diverge the beam, it makes it easier but the beam power (brightness) also goes down with the square of the spot size.) Hence,the shotgun example - a shotgun has a diverging shot pattern.

Now to simulate pointing it at a moving target, do the same thing from the passenger seat of a car going 20 MPH... you wont be able to do it at all. Even with a stable laser mount.

The eye/brain processes visual information in a complex way. There is almost a 1/2 second delay from when the light gets to your optic nerve and when your brain sees it. The brain compensates for this by essentially “guessing” or predicting where a moving object is at any instance.

A side note: If you shine a laser pointer in the general direction of an individual yet missing him or her by a few feet, the person won’t see the beam at all. All they would see if they noticed it at all would be what would look like a LED at the source. That’s why a person doesn’t see the beam from the laser sight on a firearm.

The whole issue of laser pointers and aviation is just not a problem. It makes a great story on the news but that is it. The reflection of sunlight from a mirror would be more dangerous in that regard.

That’s not to say that a properly designed laser system couldn’t be effective. But certainly not a hand held laser pointer.


27 posted on 05/28/2012 7:51:22 AM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: cpdiii

Actually it does. It would reflect off of surfaces based on the cosine law.


28 posted on 05/28/2012 8:13:27 AM PDT by Kirkwood (It's not a lie. It's a composite.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: babygene

You are not a laser expert. If you were, you would know what flash blindness is.

Tell you what, Mr. Laser Expert. If you are so sure of yourself, go sit in a darkened room for 20 minutes and then have someone shine a green laser pointer at your face and tell me what happens next.


29 posted on 05/28/2012 8:22:49 AM PDT by Kirkwood (It's not a lie. It's a composite.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Kirkwood

“Tell you what, Mr. Laser Expert. If you are so sure of yourself, go sit in a darkened room for 20 minutes and then have someone shine a green laser pointer at your face and tell me what happens next.”

First of all the room being dark would have nothing to do with it...

Second, if the room were big enough and the “someone” were miles away, it wouldn’t be an issue. It would be much more dangerous to just walk into a stationary beam, since a hand pointed beam would be moving since this “someone” would not be able to hold the laser still, yet a stationary beam would only be moving with respect to my face based on my movement (which would be slower and much more restricted).

I don’t know if you can grasp this, but the angular 2 axis movement of the beam increases with the square of the distance. At a mile your “someone” couldn’t hold the beam steady within a couple hundred feet.


30 posted on 05/28/2012 10:38:42 AM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: babygene

Its my understanding that a green pointer laser is only dangerous as far as it is distracting to a pilot. The light bounces off of random surfaces and can cause the pilot to be distracted. Probably not any more dangerous than having an annoying fly buzzing around the pilots head as he is landing the plane.

That being said, it should be illegal to intentionally distract pilots as they fly. No doubt about it.


31 posted on 05/28/2012 11:17:00 AM PDT by Tramonto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Tramonto

“That being said, it should be illegal to intentionally distract pilots as they fly.”

I would agree with that. However, as a private pilot myself, except for takeoffs and landings flying a plane is one of the most boring things a person can do...


32 posted on 05/28/2012 11:30:03 AM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: babygene

“I’m the laser expert, you guys are not... Obviously”

Obviously not an expert laser guy, much less an expert on the affects of lasers on night vision, piloting airplanes, human factors engineering, or much else. Green lasers availble retail have been known to temporarily blind and confuse a pilot, and an airplane on approach doesn’t all day to recover from vision failures.

Sorry, but for such a self-professed expert, you’re an ignorant idiot.


33 posted on 05/28/2012 12:37:11 PM PDT by CodeToad (Homosexuals are homophobes. They insist on being called 'gay' instead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: PilotDave
Nice article by ABC news on this, showing the affects of the lasers including the ability for one to burn through plastic bags which could easily burn a retina. They also show the green laser that was targeted into an LA police chopper.

ABC News Laser Report

34 posted on 05/28/2012 12:45:23 PM PDT by CodeToad (Homosexuals are homophobes. They insist on being called 'gay' instead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: babygene

“flying a plane is one of the most boring things a person can do...”

Arrogance. Pure arrogance. Said like someone trying to act too cool for school. Flying an airplane takes focus and while not much physical action may be necessary the mental game cannot be understated.


35 posted on 05/28/2012 12:47:56 PM PDT by CodeToad (Homosexuals are homophobes. They insist on being called 'gay' instead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: CodeToad

“Green lasers availble retail have been known to temporarily blind and confuse a pilot”

How about one link to a credible article showing this to have ever happened Toad. You can’t because it hasn’t...

There’s no question that you can be blinded, even permanently by available repetitively low cost lasers. But the exposure time needs to be much greater than you can get through the windscreen of a moving plane from a mile away.


36 posted on 05/28/2012 1:27:58 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: babygene

“How about one link to a credible article showing this to have ever happened Toad. You can’t because it hasn’t...”

Babygene, why can’t you do an internet search? Everybody is entitled to there own opinion. Yours stinks. Are you actually arguing that it’s ok to shine lasers at aircraft? Really? WTF?

Is the NTSB credible enough for you?

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/1997/a97_13_15.pdf

The money quote..

“On November 29, 1996, about 1850 hours Pacific standard time, the captain on Skywest
Airlines flight 5410 sustained an eye injury and was incapacitated when he was irradiated by what
is believed to be a laser beam during approach to the Los Angeles International Airport, Los
Angeles, California The airplane, an Embraer Em-120, was operated by Skywest Airlines as a
regularly scheduled domestic passenger flight from Bakersfield, California, to Los Angeles The
event occurred during darkness in visual meteorological conditions (VMC)
The airplane was on a right base leg, level at 6,000 feet mean sea level (msl), when the
incident occurred The captain stated that he was looking for downwind traffic through the right
cockpit window when a bright light shined in his right eye The captain reported that as the flight
continued, it became increasingly difficult for him to see from that eye because of a burning
sensation and tearing By the time the flight was established on final approach, the captain was
-e-xperiencing-increase6discomfort,and-h~relinquished-control-of-th~ircr~to-the~rs~office~
who completed the Ianding The airplane was not damaged, and none of the passengers or other
crewmembers were injured The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation of this
incident is ongoing
On October 30, 1995, about 1830 Pacific standard time, the first officer on Southwest
Airlines flight 1367 sustained an eye injury and was incapacitated when he was irradiated by a
laser beam during the airplane’s departure from the Las VegasNcCarran International Airport,
L.as Vegas, Nevada I The airplane was operated as a regularly scheduled domestic passenger
flight from Las Vegas to San Antonio, Texas, VMC prevailed”

There are many more. Some have been referenced above. Why do I get the feeling this won’t satisfy you?


37 posted on 05/28/2012 5:58:39 PM PDT by PilotDave (No, really, you just can't make this stuff up!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: PilotDave

“Are you actually arguing that it’s ok to shine lasers at aircraft?”

Actually I’m not arguing any such thing. Do you just male things up? I’m only pointing out that the fuss is over hyped. There are a lot of lasers pointed skyward many of them powerful.

Targeting an aircraft with a laser is a federal felony. There are tens of millions of these $5 gadgets out there and many if not most at some point will be pointed into the sky. Then there’s the crazy kid problem where they think it’s fun...

The bottom line is that they do not blind pilots and do not cause plane crashes. If they did you wouldn’t be able to buy one. Close up according to the FAA: <1000 feet they can be disruptive. So can a 22 at even more so at eve greater range and there are tens of millions of them out there too.

And no, excrement head, I’m not suggesting that one should be able to shoot at aircraft with 22’s... I

Anyway, I’m tired of chatting with you.


38 posted on 05/28/2012 8:11:54 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: babygene

“The bottom line is that they do not blind pilots”

Well we sure learned that you can’t admit when you’re wrong. I provide you credible links when you said it couldn’t be done. The NTSB used terms like “incapacitated”, “sustained an eye injury”, “burning sensation and tearing”. I guess the NTSB is wrong? Not credible?
Gee, how was I able to predict that you were still not going to be convinced? Maybe because you’ve show to all here on freerepublic what you are...


39 posted on 05/28/2012 9:05:13 PM PDT by PilotDave (No, really, you just can't make this stuff up!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: PilotDave

The cases where eye injury occurred were NOT from laser pointers. The incident in Las Vegas resulted in the FAA shutting down the outdoor light shows in Vegas. Quite a different situation than with a hand held pointer.


40 posted on 05/28/2012 10:42:11 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson