FAA probes lasers pointed at NJ-bound airplanes

August 24, 2011 - 6:55 PM

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Authorities are investigating two reports of lasers being pointed at aircraft bound for New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters says the crew of a United Airlines flight reported seeing a laser pointed at the aircraft 15 miles southwest of the airport Tuesday night. A Cessna corporate jet from Dallas reported illumination by a green laser an hour later 2 1/2 miles from Somerset Airport.

Both planes landed safely at Newark. No injuries were reported.

The cases have been referred to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, state police and the FBI for further investigation.

Lasers aimed at aircraft can seriously hamper a pilot's vision. A man convicted in California of shining a laser and temporarily blinding a pilot was sentenced in 2009 to 2 1/2 years in prison.