Three Pilots Report Laser Strikes Near Love Field

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DALLAS -- It's amazing something that costs as little as $20 could create such havoc at airports in DFW.

"We've had 115 laser strikes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, so far, this year, and that's as of October 16th," said FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford.

Wednesday, someone used a laser pointer on three different planes on their final approach to Love Field. Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, and a private business jet were the targets, this time.

The FAA and Dallas PD are zeroing in on the source of the beam, about 11 miles southeast of Dallas.

It's a dangerous situation that can blind the pilot who's trying to land the plane!

Sergeant Todd Limerick, helicopter pilot for the Dallas PD, says pilots coming in for a landing in low altitude, with lots of objects surrounding the plane, you don't have time to make mistakes, "It's almost like a crystal effect, covers the entire windscreen."

That can create some scary situations.

"Pilots have reported that they had to turn the controls of the aircraft over to the other pilot in the cockpit," Lunsford said.

A Dallas PD chopper was laser lighted back in 2013.  A man from Garland was caught and sentenced to eight months.

He was lucky since it's a federal crime to interfere with an aircraft, it could land you in prison for 20 years and cost you up to $250,000.

Thankfully, lasers haven't been blamed for any crashes... so far.

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