Reports of green laser being pointed at planes over Moss Bluff

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

Local pilot Randy Liprie said he was 1,600 feet in the air and 8.5 miles from landing at Chennault International Airport when

a “green laser with a strobing effect” began flashing through the cockpit of his Cessna 182T aircraft.

“I’ve heard of this happening but it’s the first time it’s happened in my 10 years of flying experience,” he said Monday.

He and his son were coming in from Texas and flying over Moss Bluff when the incident occurred two months ago.

“I started noticing some flashes,” he

said. “Once it did it a second time I noticed it was on ground. I

immediately looked

at my distance on the instrument, so I could get a mark ... I was

able to get a feel of where I was in reference to the ground.”

Liprie reported it to the tower.

Chennault Executive Director Randy Robb said this is the third incident of its kind in the past four months.

“It’s a potential danger to aviators. Any kind of laser light, whether it’s kids messing around or someone intending to do

harm it’s a real safety risk,” Robb said.

Liprie described the incident as someone purposefully shining lights on his aircraft. He said he first thought it might be

another aircraft underneath him that he couldn’t see because of the blind spots.

“It creates a serious safety issue. It makes you want to potentially take evasive maneuvers to try to avoid a collision,”

Liprie said. “It was very noticeable, pretty powerful light.”

Liprie said he hopes whomever is behind the lasers is caught and stopped.

“If you’ve ever thought about pointing a hand-held laser at an aircraft of any kind, think again,” Mary Beth Romig, spokesperson

for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New Orleans, said in an email. “It’s highly dangerous and a federal crime.”

The number of laser attacks in the United States is on the rise, she said.

Incidents are projected to rise to 3,700 this year — up from 283 in 2005.

“That’s a rise of more than 1,100 percent,” she said in the email. “And that doesn’t include the thousands of attacks that

go unreported every year.”