The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 to help stop so-called "lasering" or handheld laser attacks against aircrafts.
Lasering is when a person shines a laser at an aircraft, interfering with the pilot's ability to fly. It's happening at an alarming rate with almost 4,000 instances reported in 2013. That's about 11 attacks every day. (Via FBI)
Capt. Sully Sullenberger and a Glendale Police pilot describe the effects a laser can have.
“These are high powered lasers that have a very dazzling effect. They create flash blindness and can leave intense after images on the pilots retina.” (Via CBS)
“You have no idea what just happened. Your entire cockpit turns green. If I was the only pilot onboard that helicopter that night there was no way I could have landed that aircraft.” (ViaKABC)
The FBI is offering the reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone guilty of lasering. They’re hoping it will help decrease incidents, which have increased 1,100 percent since 2005.
As the threats increase, so have the consequences for the attack if a suspect is caught.
USA Today reports lasering is a federal crime and those found guilty can face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Not to mention additional civil fines.
So far, Mashable reports, no plane crash has happened from lasering. The reward program will be effective for 60 days in 12 FBI field offices.