Authorities Investigate Helicopter Laser Danger In OKC - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Authorities Investigate Helicopter Laser Danger In OKC

Posted: Updated:
Police say the laser light will distract the pilot. What happens next, makes the problem even more serious. Police say the laser light will distract the pilot. What happens next, makes the problem even more serious.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

An Oklahoma City boy may soon be facing some serious charges after police say what he did could have caused two helicopters to fall from the sky.

It all started with a simple laser pointer. When those lights are pointed at an aircraft, it can cause some serious problems.

On Thursday, the very problem temporarily blinded a helicopter pilot over northwest Oklahoma City.

What started as innocent fun has now turned into a federal investigation.

"You could be looking at some serious punishment," Sky News 9 pilot James Albertson said. "[You could face] some prison time or heavy fines."

Late Thursday, a medical helicopter was en route to Baptist Medical Center with a patient on board when a laser light hit the cockpit. Police were called to the area. When they moved in, the same thing happen to their helicopter.

Albertson has flown medical and police choppers. He took News 9's Michael Konopasek about 1000 feet up to explain the laser danger.

"[The helicopter window] distorts the laser … and it will brighten up the whole cockpit," Albertson said.

Albertson says that will distract the pilot. What happens next, makes the problem even more serious.

"When [a laser] shines upon the aircraft, the first thing you do … is look to see where the laser is coming from, which … creates a danger because the laser shines in the pilot's eyes," Albertson said.

That can temporally blind the pilot and damage the eyes.

"Here in the metro area, we have a unique ability to [communicate] with a police helicopter and tell them what's going on," Albertson said.

That is exactly what happened on Thursday. It did not take long for police to find a boy in his yard with a laser pointer in hand.

Albertson says the feds are really cracking down on the crime. The number of reported laser incidents has more than doubled since 2009.

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Politics

Breaking political news & the latest headlines from the state capitol & D.C.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Technology

Spend your money wisely with reviews of new tech gadgets & the latest news in technology.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.