FBI probes laser hit
on Frontier Flight 769


The FBI is looking into a reported laser strike on a commercial Airbus A319, presumably fired from the ground, which happened roughly six miles northeast of Grand Junction Regional Airport last week.

Ian Gregor, Pacific regional spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration, said the crew of Frontier Airlines Flight 769 reported being struck by a green-colored laser — illuminating the entire cockpit — around 7:30 p.m. on March 29 as the airliner was flying over the Palisade area. Passenger and crew numbers weren’t immediately confirmed.

Gregor said the pilots were uninjured.

FAA contacted the Palisade Police Department, while a department report said officers were “on the lookout” for laser-type happenings.

“When it hits the glass (in the cockpit), it explodes that light all over the cockpit, which is incredibly distracting especially when you’re about to land or take off,” Gregor said. “We’ve had a number of cases when pilots suffered temporary blindness.

“The fact (pilots) noticed it and reported it means they were distracted,” Gregor added.

Willfully spotting an airplane with a laser is a federal crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, he said. Identifying a specific ground location where a strike originated is difficult because pilots are focused on final approach or take off, Denver FBI spokesman Dave Joly said.

“It’s not easy to investigate this sort of action unless there’s a witness statement or confession when it occurs,” Joly said.

The incidents are relatively common around Denver International Airport but rare in western Colorado, he said.

Joly said an investigation into the March 29 incident is active and declined further comment.

According to the FAA, the incidents have become more common over recent years with the availability of inexpensive laser devices on the Internet and increased power levels that enable lasers to reach aircraft at higher altitudes. Through March 21, 18 incidents were reported in Colorado and 845 nationally, according to FAA data.

In 2012, there were 47 incidents reported in Colorado and 3,482 nationally.


COMMENTS

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


TOP JOBS
  • Rns

    Find Your Life'sWork at HopeWest.Our team of nurses is growing...

  • Rn, Lpn, Cna And Cook

    Mantey Heights Rehab & Care CentreNew Wage ScaleFT, PT &am...

  • Ranch Hand

    Experienced . Looking for experienced . All phases of cattle ranching. Center pi...

  • Rn, Lpn Or Ma

    4-5 days/week in Medical Specialty office w/benefits.Experience r...

  • Graphic Artist

    The Nickel is looking for a creative, innovative, experienced graphic des...

  • City Of Grand Junction Opportunities

    Now hiring for the following positions:Certified & Lateral Police Off...

Search More Jobs





THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Advertiser Tearsheet
Information

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy