FAA investigating after four commercial aircraft report being il - WDRB 41 Louisville News

FAA investigating after four commercial aircraft report being illuminated by lasers over Kentucky overnight

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after the agency received four separate reports of lasers striking commercial aircraft overnight.

According to the FAA, no one was injured. Local law enforcement agencies were notified and are investigating the reports, along with the FAA itself.

Descriptions of the reports, provided by the FAA, are as follows:

The first report came at 10:35 p.m. CDT, and involved UPS 1325, a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 aircraft, that was flying 39 miles south/southwest of Lexington at an altitude of 16,700 feet, heading northbound.  The flight originated out of Orlando. The pilot reported that the aircraft was illuminated by a green laser.

The second incident took place at 11:25 p.m. CDT, when the pilot of Republican Airlines Flight 4629, an Embraer E170 aircraft, reported that the aircraft was illuminated by a green laser. The aircraft was flying at an altitude of 17,000 feet, 25 miles south of Lexington over Lincoln County. The flight originated at Washington National Ronald Reagan Airport and was headed to Louisville.

The third report came at 12:25 a.m. CDT, and involved flight UPS 891, an Airbus A306. The UPS aircraft was about four miles west of Louisville International Airport at an altitude of 5,000 feet, heading southeast, when the pilot reports that the aircraft was illuminated by a green laser. That flight originated out of Las Vegas.

The fourth report came at 1 a.m. CDT, and involved UPS 913, a Boeing 757, that was flying nine miles west/southwest of Louisville International Airport. That pilot also reported that the aircraft was illuminated by a green laser. That flight originated out of Santa Ana, California.

According to FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Burgen, between Jan. 1 to July 16, there were a total of 3,756 reports of lasers illuminating aircraft in the U.S. Of that total, 105 reports came from Kentucky, with 34 originating in Louisville and 16 in Lexington.

There were 80 reports originating out of Indiana during the same time period.

It is a federal crime to point a laser at an aircraft. According to a press release from the FAA, the agency considers the act of pointing a laser at an aircraft from the ground an action that, "could seriously impair a pilot’s vision and interfere with the flight crew’s ability to safely handle its responsibilities."

"The maximum civil penalty the FAA can impose on an individual for violating the FAA's regulations that prohibit interfering with a flight crew is $11,000 per violation," the news release states.

Stay with WDRB News. We'll update this story as it develops.

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