FAA Investigates Laser Holiday Light Display As Possible Hazard

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a Christmas light display in North Texas after an American Airlines crew reported being struck by a laser on Thursday night.

Investigators believe the laser originated from a “laser holiday light display.”

The FAA said this is the first time it is hearing about a holiday display causing problems in the sky.

A Dallas Police helicopter traced the beam back to a home 22 miles east of DFW Airport.

“It’s something that most people don’t think about when they’re putting up some kind of display or anything like that. They don’t realize that they might be causing a problem,” said Danny Kelly, an retired pilot.

Kelly said he is not surprised to hear what happened to the flight crews.

FAA investigators say a Boeing 737 was struck be a laser while flying at 13,000 feet.

“The intent is what’s important. Obviously these people did not intend for this to happen. If they had been told by the FAA to shut it off and they don’t then that might border on being violating a criminal law otherwise no it’s not,” said Kelly.

Expert urge consumers who buy laser light displays to make sure they are pointing them at their house and not the sky.

“I’d tell them to stop immediately because first of all they’re endangering people’s lives and second, they’re endangering people’s health and third, they themselves could end up in criminal prosecution,” said Kelly.

Kelly said the FAA will likely first ask for the homeowner to redirect or shut off the light display first. If that does not happen, it could either go to court or charges could be filed.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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