UPDATE 1-Lasers hit 20 aircraft flying in U.S. overnight - FAA

jueves 12 de noviembre de 2015 14:59 GYT

(Updates with additional laser strikes)

Nov 12 (Reuters) - Dangerous beams from handheld lasers struck 20 aircraft flying over the United States and its territories overnight, among the nearly 5,400 laser hits in the nation so far this year, the Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday.

No injuries were reported in the incidents, which took place from New York City to Sacramento, and resulted in at least one arrest. Authorities said the incidents did not appear to be linked to each other.

"Shining a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime," the FAA said in a statement.

Laser beams can lead to temporary blindness in pilots and, in some cases, pilots have reported eye injuries that required medical treatment.

As of Oct. 16, the total number of laser strikes around the U.S. this year was 5,352, the FAA said.

One man was arrested in New York after a Channel 4 news helicopter was struck by a laser beam while flying near the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn at 5:15 p.m. ET (2215 GMT) on Wednesday. The pilot alerted LaGuardia Airport's air traffic control tower staff, which notified a New York Police Department aviation unit.

Police in the air worked with their colleagues on the ground to track the suspect to the rear of a building near downtown Brooklyn, where he was taken into custody, the NYPD said.

Ossieo Silva, 20, was charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment.   Continuación...