BOSTON (WHDH) - Authorities with the Federal Aviation Administration say they are investigating a series of incidents involving a laser flashing passenger jets as they traveled through Boston this week.
The FAA told 7NEWS that at least four instances involving a green laser had been reported since Monday morning, with the latest coming in on Tuesday.
“The flight crew of Alaska Airlines Flight 836 reported being illuminated by a green laser near Boston around 5:10 a.m. local time on Tuesday, Nov. 14,” the FAA stated in an email. “Local authorities were notified. The FAA will investigate.”
In addition to the Alaska Airlines flight, three other air crews reported a similar incident happening to them on Monday, with reports coming in around 5:40 a.m.
Investigators did not say where the light seemed to be coming from.
The incidents come less than two months after a green laser flashed two JetBlue flights around 5:40 a.m. on Sept. 14.
According to the FAA, laser strikes reported to the administration have been on the rise in recent years, with close to 9,500 happening in 2022 alone.
Federal data on Tuesday showed 20 laser strikes reported in Massachusetts so far this year.
Aviation Safety Expert Capt. J.F. Joseph spoke to 7NEWS after this week’s laser strikes, saying he experienced two such strikes during his many years in the cockpit.
While he was fortunate to not make direct eye contact with the blinding light, both incidents happened during landing, which could have been catastrophic.
“Just seeing the laser flash, that was sufficient to put the crew on alert and focus inside the airplane at that point,” Joseph said.
“I think most people simply don’t realize how dangerous it is and what the consequences could be,” Joseph continued.
Because a laser strike can incapacitate a pilot, those caught flashing lasers at planes face potential jail time.
Individuals can also be fined up to $11,000 per incident and up to $30,800 for multiple laser incidents.
Despite the FAA taking laser strikes extremely seriously, Joseph said there is little pilots can do about the problem.
“You try to shield your eyes and avoid the area the threat’s been reported in,” he said.
Pilots are required to report laser strikes. Members of the public are urged to report such incidents, as well.
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