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High Number Of Laser Strikes In One Night Has Pilots Uneasy

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into a series of laser strikes on aircraft across the country, including a possible strike at Sacramento International Airport.

The exact details of that reported laser strike have not been made available yet, but for pilots these little beams of light are a huge concern.

It was a busy night for law enforcement and air traffic control across the nation, with more than 20 pilots reporting laser pointers aimed at their cockpits.

"I just don't understand why in this day and age people would want to be so vindictive as to want to cause such a thing," said Steven Thompson with Executive Flyers at Sacramento Executive airport.

He says many pilots rely on line of sight especially at lower altitudes.

"Most people generally disengage at least below 1,000 feet, the autopilot, so if at that point they were blinded temporarily that could be serious, the airplane could crash," he said.

Thompson is concerned with the growing trend. The FAA reports there have been more than 5,000 laser strikes nationwide so far this year, nearly double what it was five years ago.

Shining a laser at an airplane is a federal offense.

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