Laser Christmas lights cause trouble for pilots

December 10, 2015

WECT, weather

DALLAS (KTVT/CNN) – Some Christmas lights are causing trouble in the skies.

An American Airlines pilot reported being flashed by a laser from a holiday display.

They’re supposed to make decorating for the holidays easier, but investigators with the FAA said some of these new laser Christmas light displays are proving dangerous to pilots.

“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,” retired pilot Danny Kelly said.

Kelly said he isn’t surprised to hear what happened to an American Airlines crew last night.

The FAA said their Boeing 737 was struck by a laser while flying at 13,000 feet. A Dallas police helicopter traced the beam back to a home about 22 miles east of DFW airport.

“The intent is what’s important. Obviously these people did not intend for this to happen,” Kelly said. “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.”

Kelly said folks who buy laser light displays need to make sure they’re pointed at the house and not the sky.

And for those who are buying into this emerging holiday technology and are lighting up their homes without care?

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

Our flight expert tell us the FAA most likely will first ask the homes who are shooting lasers in to the sky to turn them off or redirect them.

If that doesn’t happen, that’s when they could either go to court or faces criminal charges.

via- WECT