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Laser pointings at aircraft near Teterboro Airport being investigated

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

EXCLUSIVE: A pair of laser pointings near Teterboro Airport at flights bound for Newark last night are being investigated by several agencies, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

The Port Authority confirmed this morning that it is looking into the incidents along with the FAA, the New Jersey State Police and the Bergen County Police Department.

The first incident was logged at 9:58 p.m. and the second two minutes later, the authority’s Joseph Pentangelo told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

They were reported by State Police one mile east of Teterboro and brought the various agencies to the airport last night, emergency workers said.

The flights landed safely with no injuries or problems.

Laser pointings became a serious problem in the mid- to late-2000s and have continued to grow — to what the FBI said has reached an “epidemic level.”

The hand-held gadgets, about the size of fountain pens, have become more powerful and cheaper over the years, costing as little as a dollar and reaching nearly two miles.

Interfering with a flight crew is a federal offense. Several investigations have resulted, leading to arrests and prosecutions — mostly of minors with no criminal history or older men with records. The majority have done it as a prank, the FBI said.

Earlier this year, a judge in California sentenced a 19-year-old Hollywood man to 30 months in federal prison for shining a laser pointer at a plane and police helicopter.

Under certain conditions, laser lights can distract or cause “flash blindness” to a pilot, creating the potential for disaster during takeoff or landing, the Federal Aviation Administration has warned.

In some cases, pilots have given controls to co-pilots or aborted landings. No accidents have been reported.

The FAA urges the public to contact local police whenever they spot someone shining a laser at a plane.

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