On 12/9/13, 7:19 pm, the PBIA control tower advised that an unknown person pointed a laser device at Jet Blue Flight 521 from LaGuardia to Palm Beach
approximately five miles west of PBIA. Upon my arrival, deputy made contact with the pilot who stated that on final approach, at approximately 1,700 feet, he observed a very bright, constant green laser enter the cockpit from the area of the front left windshield. He believed he was intentionally tracked as the
unknown person made sweeping movements with the laser across the aircraft. The duration of the exposure was about 20-30 seconds. The pilot said he had to shield his eyes to continue with the landing procedures. The pilot believed the laser came from the northeast corner of Belvedere Rd and Benoist Farms Road. The area appeared to possibly be an apartment complex. The area was checked by the PBSO Aviation Unit with negative results.
On 12/01/13, at 8:30 pm, deputies were advised of a laser incident by Jet Blue Ground personnel. They explained that the aircraft, Flight 1328, had landed at 7:35 PM. The pilot had to leave to operate another aircraft for an outgoing flight. The cockpit had been struck by the laser light. Also, the laser was witnessed by a passenger and he had left as well. The deputy spoke with the witness by phone, he explained that he is a frequent air traveler at PBIA and recognized the area where the laser originated. When he Google Mapped the area he thought the laser had come from west of SR 7 and south of Southern Blvd. Pilot Albright did not return deputies call.
On 11/29/13, at 11:20 pm, PBSO pilot was flying the Eagle in the area of Hagen Ranch Rd and Lantana Rd when the aircraft was struck by a green laser light. The laser was directed at cockpit from a stationary point twice lasting approximately 5 seconds. The beam was steady and moved across the sky. PBSO Pilot believes the suspect(s) was tracking them with the beam. The beam entered the aircraft on first occasion as the aircraft was eastbound as indicated at the 7 o’clock position off the tail of the aircraft. The pilot turned to attempt location of the beam and as the aircraft was at approximately 270 degrees path the beam again struck the aircraft and entered the cockpit at 11 o’clock position off nose of aircraft. The pilot stated that he was struck in his eyes by the laser from the side, no visual, psychological, or physical effects were caused by the beam. No suspects were located.
Misuse of Laser Lighting Device is a FELONY
There has been an ongoing problem with the misuse of a green laser that has been pointed into the cockpits of aircrafts landing at PBIA. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office REMINDS the Public that Misuse of Laser Lighting Device is a 3rd degree felony.
* Any person who knowingly and willfully shines, points, or focuses the beam of a laser lighting device on an individual operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft and such act results in bodily injury commits a felony in the 2nd degree felony.
* If the aircraft were to crash it would be a 1st degree felony
Should anyone witness the misuse of a Laser Lighting Device please report it immediately to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the nearest law enforcement agency, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS or text to firstname.lastname@example.org.