NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – It is dangerous, can be physically damaging and the FBI claims statistics show “lasering” is on the rise.
Federal investigators report aircraft pilots are having lasers pointed at them 14 times as much now compared to rates in 2005.
“It was more like a camera flash. Kind of like startling at first,” said Larry Brown, a CareFlite paramedic who was lasered a few months ago. “It very disorienting and it’s also potentially damaging to your eyes.”
Brown did not suffer any long-term damage, but he feels it is a problem that everyone should be paying attention to since response time to critical incidents are of the essence.
“I didn’t think anything of it only what people described what it was like,” he said. “But after having it happen, it’s made me more away and fearful.”
In the fight to help pilots protect themselves from the harmful beams of light, former U.S. Army pilot and current Fort Worth resident Adam Aldous has developed something that could help.
They look just like a pair of shades.
“If you tried selling me a pair of these a week ago, I would tell you you’re crazy,” said Aldous, a developer for Night Flight.
Using orange tinted lenses, Aldous said the specs absorb at least 97-percent of the harm beams of green and blue lasers.
“It’s disappointing you know that we have to result to protecting ourselves.”
For $175, Aldous said it might be worth it to pilots who fly at night and in metropolitan areas to invest in a pair.
Brown likes the idea and said something needs to be done about a problem that impacts everyone. “If it delays our arrival to a patient who is in need of transport, then there’s a lot more a stake.”
Aldous has sold about 300 pairs of the glasses, mostly to private aviators and a few to law enforcement pilots.
Those who are caught lasering pilots face a felony and up to five years in prison.
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