JetBlue Pilot Suffers Eye Injury from Laser Pointer

The plane, en route from Syracuse to JFK Airport, landed safely around 10 minutes later

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An investigation is now underway to figure out who may have been responsible. The incident happened as the plane approached JFK airport. Pei-Sze Cheng reports. (Published Monday, Jul 16, 2012)

    A JetBlue pilot suffered a minor eye injury Sunday when a laser pointer shone into the plane, the airline confirmed.

    Officials said a green laser shone through the windshield of JetBlue Flight 657. In air traffic control transmissions, someone in the cockpit is heard saying, "We were just beamed -- approximately beamed -- by Deer Park, New York."

    The plane, en route from Syracuse to JFK Airport, landed safely around 10 minutes later.

    The co-pilot who had command of the plane at the time was sent to the hospital for a minor eye injury.

    Aviation expert J.P. Tristani said what may seem like a minor prank a few hundred feet below could have devastating consequences. 

    "That momentary distraction, because you're so focused inside the cockpit, can cause you to miss a radio call, can cause you to miss a warning light, can cause you to have a temporary blindness," said Tristani. 

    The FAA and the FBI is investigating the incident, a law-enforcement source said. It's been a federal crime since 2011 to point a laser at an aircraft. 

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