FAA reports show laser strikes in NE Arkansas

Flying blind
(Soucre: Raycom Media)
(Soucre: Raycom Media)
(Source: Raycom Media)
(Source: Raycom Media)

(KAIT) - Reports from the Federal Aviation Administration showed incidents involving lasers strikes on planes have increased in the past few years and a few of them happened in NE Arkansas.

In the past 7 years, pilots reported a gradual increase of laser strikes.

FAA reports showed there were about 3,700 during those 7 years.

But last year, those attacks almost doubled to about 7,700.

Some of these incidents happened in Region 8.

Both Jonesboro and Batesville did not report any incidents, but Walnut Ridge and Helena-West Helena had one each.

The most recent of which happened at Helena-West Helena in 2014.

Eric Shelton is a pilot for FedEx and flies on his own in Jonesboro.

He said getting hit with a laser while in the air could possibly blind the pilot.

"Depending on the glass, you know larger commercial aircraft, it kind of deflects the ray a bit and lights up the entire cockpit," Shelton said.

Other pilots said it is like looking into the sun when this happens.

Shelton said this has only happened to him once in Europe, but he was not blinded.

For more on how other pilots handled laser strikes in the air click here.

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