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FBI Offers Reward In Laser Incident That Injured Delta Pilot In New York

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What a pilot sees when someone on the ground shines a laser into the cockpit. (Photo: CBS 2)

What a pilot sees when someone on the ground shines a laser into the cockpit. (Photo: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The FBI is asking for the public’s help in identifying a person who they say shined a green laser at a Delta flight en route to LaGuardia Airport, injuring the pilot.

According to FBI officials in New York, Delta Flight #1102 was on a landing approach to LaGuardia Airport just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday when the pilot reported a green laser beam that entered the cockpit twice.

One of the pilots in the cockpit was injured, suffering flash blindness and severely disrupted vision. The pilot continued to experience pain in his right eye for some time, the FBI said.

“Laser incidents are often viewed as harmless. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos. “Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers and we are asking anyone who knows anything to contact us.”

The laser appeared to have originated from Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, Queens, officials said.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of anyone involved in the case, 1010 WINS reported.

Similar laser incidents have occurred throughout the Tri-State area over the last year. Many of them also resulted in injuries suffered by the pilots and their crews.

On Jan. 25, 2014 a United Airlines pilot on approach to LaGuardia Airport experienced flash blindness and mild irritation for several days following a laser incident.

A JetBlue pilot suffered from blurry vision for over a week after being temporarily blinded by a laser while on approach to John F. Kennedy International Airport on Dec. 26, 2013.

In an effort to raise awareness about the issue, the FBI launched a targeted regional reward program in February, which will run for 60 days in 12 FBI field offices.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000.

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