Perpetrators who pointed lasers at planes sought
2 isle planes were targeted by green lasers earlier this year
The Coast Guard is looking for those responsible for pointing a green laser at airplanes landing in Barbers Point in two incidents this year.
After the incidents in late February and early March, the Coast Guard flight crews were checked immediately at Tripler Army Medical Center. They were not injured.
"Landing is a precarious operation," said Cmdr. Chris Moss, the operations officer at Air Station Barbers Point. "To be distracted by the laser is dangerous in itself, but the eye damage from the laser can be instantaneous and permanent."
There were three reports of airplanes being targeted by lasers this year in Hawaii, two of which were the Coast Guard planes, said Ian Gregor, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman. These were the first incidents in Hawaii in a year, he said.
In January 2005, there were at least three reports of commercial airplanes being targeted by green lasers while landing at Honolulu Airport. These incidents were among several that were reported around the nation that year.
In response to those incidents, an FAA policy was established to speed up the response time by pilots and air traffic controllers in contacting law enforcement.
"In Hawaii, we call 911," Gregor said. "We try to give them as much precise information as possible, but it's hard to catch people who are doing this very irresponsible and dangerous thing."
Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Yu said she is unaware of any arrests made for the 2005 incidents.
Anyone responsible for interfering with aircraft operators faces a federal offense, with a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Those guilty of pointing a laser at a commercial airliner face fines of $500,000 and up to 20 years in jail.
The Coast Guard is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the person responsible. People with information should call 541-2301.
Lasers targeted 2 isle planes
The Coast Guard is investigating two incidents earlier this year in which flight crews said a green laser was pointed at their airplanes while landing on John Rodgers Field at Barbers Point.
The flight crews were not injured, but green lasers, authorities said, pose serious threats by distracting pilots or causing eye injuries.
Lasers targeting airplanes garnered national attention in early 2005, including several incidents involving commercial planes landing in Honolulu. Anyone with information is asked to call the Coast Guard Investigative Service at 541-2301.