Six laser incidents reported in cockpits above Utah in five days

Posted at 6:18 PM, Mar 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-12 20:18:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Six times in five days. From Saturday through Wednesday, pilots in six planes, most of them commercial jets, reported lasers shined into their cockpits. In five of the six, FOX 13 News has confirmed the lasers were green.

We don't know the color in the incident on Wednesday night.

The six incidents are as follows:

Saturday night: An Airbus 319 commuter jet 16 miles northwest of Cedar City, and a Canadair Regional Jet on approach to Salt Lake City International.

Sunday night: A Pilatus PC-12 single engine business plane 13,000 feet above Provo.

Tuesday night: A 757 over Provo, inbound to Salt Lake City International Airport, and a 737 Northbound between Provo and Salt Lake City.

Wednesday night: A Skywest regional jet, flight 6470, inbound to Salt Lake City from Los Angeles.

Jim Green, the chair of the Department of Aviation Science at Utah Valley University, said laser pointers have the potential to cause serious harm.

"We would tend to see a light and look at it," Green said. "So it does become a safety issue very significantly with the use of lasers by individuals."

Interfering with a pilot in flight with a laser is a federal felony.