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Code name: Felix
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is something that has always worried me, but it is useless at a major airport, since most airline transport carriers are capable of landing on auto pilot:


U.S. Says Terrorists Could Use Lasers




WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal officials are concerned that terrorists could try to down aircraft by blinding pilots with laser beams during landing approaches.

A memo sent to law enforcement agencies recently by the FBI and the Homeland Security Department says there is evidence that terrorists have explored using lasers as weapons.

``Although lasers are not proven methods of attack like improvised explosive devices and hijackings, terrorist groups overseas have expressed interest in using these devices against human sight,'' the memo said.

``In certain circumstances, if laser weapons adversely affect the eyesight of both pilot and co-pilot during a non-instrument approach, there is a risk of airliner crash,'' the agencies said.

The federal authorities said there is no specific intelligence indicating al-Qaida or other groups might use lasers in the United States.


In September a pilot for Delta Air Lines reported an eye injury from a laser beam shone into the cockpit during a landing approach in Salt Lake City. The incident occurred about 5 miles from the airport. The plane landed safely.


FBI and other federal officials are investigating. It is not clear if a crime was committed or if the laser was directed into the cockpit by accident.


Steve Luckey, a retired airline pilot who is chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association's national security committee, said pilots are concerned about a recent increase in laser incidents, but do not know what to make of them. He said he has learned of two or three cases in the past 90 days.


``The most recent incidents appear to be aimed at pilots in the vicinity of airports,'' Luckey said. ``A few seem to be intentional, and we're wondering why and what's going on.''


Lasers can cause temporary blindness and severely damage the eye by burning the retina. The bulletin notes they are ``relatively inexpensive, portable, easy to conceal and readily available on the open market.''


Lasers are commonly used in a number of industries and are featured in outdoor light shows. A variety of more powerful military-grade lasers are produced around the world, but there is no evidence that terrorist groups have managed to obtain one, according to federal officials.


The bulletin was sent late last month to law enforcement officials and key government agencies and industries. A copy was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.


Associated Press Writer Leslie Miller contributed to this story.


On the Net:


FBI: http://www.fbi.gov


Homeland Security Department: http://www.dhs.gov
 

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This sort of thing happened at the Salt Lake Airport this yr. I do not recall who was using the laser however.
 

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"In September a pilot for Delta Air Lines reported an eye injury from a laser beam shone into the cockpit during a landing approach in Salt Lake City. The incident occurred about 5 miles from the airport. The plane landed safely."



opps my bad.
 

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Code name: Felix
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Normally when there is a laser show we are told about it during weather briefing so we can avoid the area, but if some joker decides to play with this they ought to be shot.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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aviator said:
Normally when there is a laser show we are told about it during weather briefing so we can avoid the area, but if some joker decides to play with this they ought to be shot.
True. I don't see it much different than someone with a 30-06 taking potshots at planes. In fact, the laser would have a much more likely chance of downing an aircraft.
 

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Gunco Samurai
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I remember the safety rules for the Estes Rockets I built as a kid, one of them was about not shooting them off at aircraft. I never thought that plastic nose cose would really do much to the skin of a plane. They sure were fun though.
 

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Code name: Felix
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
PT, there are other areas of an airplane that can get damaged and cause an accident, for instance, that plastic part could get sucked up by an air intake in a jet engine and cause it to blow out, or it could hit the windshield of a smaller airplane and break it, causing an accident, I normally fly at about 145 Kt's, anything that hits me it's going to do some damage, if it knicks the prop, you'll get vibrations, vibrations may force you to an emergency landing, I've been lucky, I've hit birds twice, but they got hit by the prop first and all I got was blood on the windshield, but if the body of the bird hits the windshield at 145 kts.....it's a major catatrophy...and it's happenned before.
 

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aviator I would like to ask you a question. What is a kts?, I am guessing its speed but how is it measured? And what does the kts stand for? Thanks in advance.
 

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Friend of MCMXI
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While you're answering Cowdawg's question, I have one two. I've always wondered how ice on the wings of a plane can cause problems? I know that it does, just don't know why.
 

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Code name: Felix
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Kts......abbreviation for knots 1 knot = 1.151 statute miles, used as a measurement of distance or speed. I guess I should have said Kts per hour. sorry. it's a nautical term

Preacher, ice on the wings prevent even airflow over the wing, therefore reducing lift. Go back to Physics 101, "Bernullis effect" as a fluid (in this case air) moves faster over a surface, the fluid on the bottom of the surface will exert an upward presure, creating lift. Once the air flow over the surface is interrupted, lift is lost. Also, controls, freeze up, pitostatic system (instruments that rely on outside air and indicate airspeed, vertical airspeed, etc) clogs up and ice accumulates on windshield which could cause an accident due to lack of visibility.
 

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I guess I always figured if the ice was even and smooth it wouldn't matter (aside from messing up the instruments). Thanks for the info.
 

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Code name: Felix
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not in flight, water dropplets will accumulate on the leading edge of the wing and disturb the airflow, that's why most modern passenger aircrafts will have rubber boots on the leading edge that can be inflated with antifreeze to break the ice off. It could be extremely dangerous to have ice build up.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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One of my best pals is a Delta captain & Naval Academy grad.

I'll have to ask him about this stuff. He was one of the first to get training to carry in the cockpit. He stays on top of these things.
 
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