Categorized | Military, News

Military reminds public that aiming a laser at aircraft is a federal crime

MEDIA RELEASE

A UH-1Y Huey Venom helicopter lands on a runway at Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan, September 28, 2017. The squadron conducted aerial live-fire training in Okinawa, which is crucial to maintaining a stronger, more capable, forward deployed force in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The aircraft is assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, currently forward deployed under the unit deployment program with MAG-36, 1st MAW. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andy Martinez)

A UH-1Y Huey Venom helicopter. File photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps.

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII – On Dec. 5, 2017, a UH-1Y Huey helicopter aircrew with Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, was involved in a lasing incident while flying routine operations near Marine Corps Training Area Bellows.

The incident has been reported to the Honolulu Police Department. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are actively investigating this crime. They, along with Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), will work with the HPD during the investigation to ensure the safety of military personnel, the aircraft, and the Waimanalo community.

“The military on Hawaii must be a ready team. We must be able to train to our full extent, in a safe and responsible environment” said Col. Raul Lianez, the commanding officer for MCBH. “Lawless acts like shooting flying aircraft with harmful lasers prevents this and endangers lives in the community.”

Laser aiming at an aircraft is a federal crime. Violators can be charged with up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Additionally, you are subject to an $11,000 civil penalty.

If you have information about a lasing incident or see someone pointing a laser at an aircraft, call the Honolulu Police Department by dialing 911 or report it by email to the Federal Aviation Administration through laserreports@faa.gov. You may also text NCIS and your tip information to CRIMES (274637).

Laser illuminations can distract, disorient and debilitate a pilot. An event occurring during a critical phase of flight, such as landing, can lead to catastrophic results if the pilot cannot see instruments to remain on course or maneuver in a heavy traffic environment.

Lasing a member of the aircrew will have adverse physiological effects to include visual pain and loss of depth perception.

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