Six laser incidents reported in cockpits above Utah in five days

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Six times in five days. From Saturday through Wednesday, pilots in six planes, most of them commercial jets, reported lasers shined into their cockpits. In five of the six, FOX 13 News has confirmed the lasers were green.

We don't know the color in the incident on Wednesday night.

The six incidents are as follows:

Saturday night: An Airbus 319 commuter jet 16 miles northwest of Cedar City, and a Canadair Regional Jet on approach to Salt Lake City International.

Sunday night: A Pilatus PC-12 single engine business plane 13,000 feet above Provo.

Tuesday night: A 757 over Provo, inbound to Salt Lake City International Airport, and a 737 Northbound between Provo and Salt Lake City.

Wednesday night: A Skywest regional jet, flight 6470, inbound to Salt Lake City from Los Angeles.

Jim Green, the chair of the Department of Aviation Science at Utah Valley University, said laser pointers have the potential to cause serious harm.

"We would tend to see a light and look at it," Green said. "So it does become a safety issue very significantly with the use of lasers by individuals."

Interfering with a pilot in flight with a laser is a federal felony.


  • Parker West

    Can I suggest a mandatory 10 years on the no-fly list for anyone caught or suspected of doing this, this would include any accessories to the incident also. My first impression would be kids, 13-18 years, who would likely just get a hand slap, HOWEVER being added to the no-fly list isn’t a minor-adult division since no kids are going to a federal prison and it could have some interesting consequences. If momma’ little fella had mission plans, wanted to join the airmen forces, maybe make a collegiate athletic team, he would have to put them on hold until the 10 years are done. A 20-30 year old should know better but several have been caught, and under a no-fly listing that person would have to forget about getting a job requiring travel, or if they marry, could only honeymoon as far as their beat-up Honda could take them, Hawaii, Paris, The Bermudas are out.
    Those who have been caught were videoed by police/FBI agents in helicopters using night vision camera’s. Once a laser was seen pointing upwards, the navigation system locked onto the location and off they went, many times in time to video the idiots in action. You can run, but you cannot hide from night vision combined with heat sensors watching where you go even inside a house.
    Just don’t do it—
    This guy (me) would bet that such equipment may be found based at the Provo Airport keying on the locations of the previous attacks. I watched a video as law enforcement used the methods around west LA, and in neighborhoods close to the Charlotte NC, Douglas County Airport. They very quickly had their men and kids, so anyone thinking of this and how hard it would be to get caught, you mny have a shock from out of nowhere.

    • miles (dave)

      wow exacting punishments for even being suspected of a “mostly” petty crime, well thats not how we do it here in the USA. with all of what you said my question is, why are you so passionate about this? you apparently think very very lowly of anyone who dose it (i dont think its cool and it can be dangerous but i dont think they are the scum of the earth)

      also just a bit of education (not to say your stupid but just for knowledge sake) once the laser beam was traced to the house photons can not be traced through most of the surfaces a house is made of so you can get the trajectory of the beam as it enters the window and plot a cores to say where it may have came from but you can not see the beam through the house. also thermal cameras are nothing more than infrared cameras so they also work with photons. and would not be any better at tracing the beam especially because they are designed to work further to the end of the 700nm range. also because we know know night vision and thermal cameras use photons you cannot track the movements of people inside a house through most of the materials the house is made of… unless you live in a glass house then both or your eyes work fine

      also i have never done this but when done at night a class 3b laser 500-540nm (the more common green lasers that would make a reasonably good beam that far away) can be traced with the naked eye as they are powerful enough to be brightly seen through the reflection of the dust and other particles in the air so you would not need sophisticated equipment to trace it

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