A 22-year-old pilot has revealed what happens when you shoot a laser at a plane, which has frustratingly been done to her at least two times.
“If you think it’s funny to shoot a laser at an airplane, it’s not,” Sabrina Johnson, who flies for a regional airline in the US, warned.
The young woman, who is also a commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor, shares insights into her job and traveling tips on TikTok.
Her video warning about lasers has been viewed more than 1 million times alone..
“When I was flying as a flight instructor I was flying through New York City doing some sightseeing and I was getting lasered,” she explained.
“It’s basically like a green laser that flashes and they try to blind pilots. I think people think it’s funny.
“So I just put my head down with my passenger and flew by the instruments and then I let LaGuardia Tower know that ‘hey we’re getting lasered right now’ and they vectored us back home.”
While no one was hurt, due to the seriousness of the act, it didn’t end there.
“The FBI called me and they narrowed it down within a 0.3 mile radius of the top of the building that someone was shooting the laser at me from,” she explained.
“They will find you. They take this so seriously.”
Another time, Ms Johnson said she got lasered and told Air Traffic Control and police were sent out to the spot immediately.
In the US, the dangerous act can be punished with huge fines and/or up to five years imprisonment.
It is also illegal in Australia. The penalty for possession or use of a laser pointer in a public place without a reasonable excuse can be up to two years imprisonment or a fine of up to $5500 in NSW.
A “reasonable excuse” is determined on a case-by-case basis but may include an amateur astronomer or a teacher who uses the pointer for astronomy.