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(WPBF West Palm Beach)   Man accused of pointing laser at sheriff's helicopter admits he was "just being dumb." No one disagrees   (wpbf.com) divider line 42
    More: Florida, Michael Fischer, pilot report, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, helicopters, cockpits  
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3142 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jan 2013 at 2:56 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



42 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-01-02 02:59:04 PM
When are these stupid farks going to learn?
They should strap him down and shine lasers in his eyes.
th06.deviantart.net
 
2013-01-02 03:00:18 PM
Ironically, his problem is that he's not very bright.
 
2013-01-02 03:05:20 PM
I would really like to know how someone could point a laser at a moving flying object accurately. I can barely get one to hold still on a shed across the street. And sheds, generally speaking, are rather immobile.
 
2013-01-02 03:07:39 PM
Now he has one up on most people as he knows he is dumb.
 
2013-01-02 03:08:29 PM
Citizens pointing penlite lasers at aircraft is illegal for obvious reasons. Goverments pointing death-rays at innocent civilians perfectly ok.
 
2013-01-02 03:08:32 PM
Painting chopper with red dot sight still legal.
 
2013-01-02 03:14:42 PM
He was only charged with misuse of a laser. I think The FAA will charge him with a bit more.
 
2013-01-02 03:15:03 PM
Wouldn't you have to be really dumb to get caught? As in continue to hang out and flash multiple aircraft?
 
2013-01-02 03:18:26 PM
I think they should send everyone caught shining lasers at aircraft to an arena where they all fight each other to the death with lasers and sporks.
 
2013-01-02 03:20:16 PM
Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Retarded
 
2013-01-02 03:26:24 PM

durbnpoisn: I would really like to know how someone could point a laser at a moving flying object accurately. I can barely get one to hold still on a shed across the street. And sheds, generally speaking, are rather immobile.


Every time I see a story like this I have the exact same thought. The photocells on top of most streetlights are about the same size as the human eye. If you can hit it with a laser, the light goes out immediately. Even standing only a few meters away, I find it very difficult to hit that stationary photocell at close distance. I can't even imagine how you'd possibly hit an aircraft pilot's eye, particularly airline pilots with the way those aircraft are designed and the angle of approach the aircraft must use to make a proper landing.
 
2013-01-02 03:32:46 PM

durbnpoisn: I would really like to know how someone could point a laser at a moving flying object accurately. I can barely get one to hold still on a shed across the street. And sheds, generally speaking, are rather immobile.


Common response to these stories. You're not trying to hold it steady like you're guiding a missile or anything. All you have to do is wave the thing around enough so that it flashes the plane momentarily. In other words, you're not trying to hold it steady on the door handle of the shed across the street, but just wave it so that at some point the beam touches any part of the shed. See the difference?

Then, the effect is magnified by two things: The plexiglass windscreens scatter the light like crazy and the whole screen glows, and the pilot's eyes are adapted for night vision so even a "dim" flash from miles away will be like a firework going off in his face. Believe me, if you've ever been illuminated or seen a demo of this, it's a VERY really effect. Fortunately it hasn't caused any crashes yet.
 
2013-01-02 03:34:58 PM
Citizen, do not shine your tiny little penlight pointer thingy at my helicopter, because respect mah authoritah.
 
2013-01-02 03:35:26 PM

Sean M: I can't even imagine how you'd possibly hit an aircraft pilot's eye


No need. Just hit the windscreen. That's literally a million times larger area. The laser is going to jumping all over the place at that distance, so it's easier than you think to "flash" the windscreen for just a microsecond. Apparently there are a ton of people doing this, so you only need a few to successfully do it to cause trouble. I haven't had it happen to me yet, but I don't ever fly at night. It's happened to folks I know, and with some regularity actually.
 
2013-01-02 03:36:38 PM
But man, you should have seen how high his cat was jumping.
 
2013-01-02 03:39:20 PM

dukeblue219: No need. Just hit the windscreen. That's literally a million times larger area.


Um, no.
 
2013-01-02 03:41:23 PM
For those wondering how it happens, check the following: From Ocean City, MD (go to :39 if you're impatient)

Better one from Moscow

A news story

Seriously, it DOES happen and can be distracting. Fortunately most times it's just an annoyance and not necessarily blinding per se. Also remember that the flash could be a lot brighter to a pilot's eye than the camera can really capture.
 
2013-01-02 03:45:02 PM
Hey, at least it wasn't a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range.
 
2013-01-02 03:46:23 PM
Thank God our military fighter jets are immune to cheap hand-held laser pointers.

Oh . . . . wait.
 
2013-01-02 03:46:31 PM

dukeblue219: For those wondering how it happens, check the following: From Ocean City, MD (go to :39 if you're impatient)

Better one from Moscow

A news story

Seriously, it DOES happen and can be distracting. Fortunately most times it's just an annoyance and not necessarily blinding per se. Also remember that the flash could be a lot brighter to a pilot's eye than the camera can really capture.


Very illuminating.
 
2013-01-02 03:46:53 PM
en.valka.cz
Problem solved.

Remember folks, things that help you find other objects often help those objects find you.
 
2013-01-02 04:02:03 PM
I don't believe in this story based on ignorance of the facts, and have a lot of ideas on how to negate the effects of lasers based on a misunderstanding of optics, physics, and human physiology. Is this the right thread?
 
2013-01-02 04:07:22 PM

ChadM89: dukeblue219: No need. Just hit the windscreen. That's literally a million times larger area.

Um, no.


Not that far off. If you are looking at the pupil of the eye, it is probably about 2 mm across at night. that would be 3.14 mm^2. A windshield 1 M by 2 M would be 2,000,000 mm^2. So the original poster is off, but probably not be even a full order of magnitude.
 
2013-01-02 04:12:44 PM
Laser, sic chopper!
 
2013-01-02 04:44:01 PM
Well this is a first, a guy from Florida willingly admits his stupidity

/and with freaking lasers no less
//distinct lack of sharks though
 
2013-01-02 04:46:29 PM
What if you bought a whole bunch of them?
Aimed them all at once at a plane?
I know a saudi guy at the flea market that can get me cases of them.

Uh -oh.
 
2013-01-02 04:46:38 PM

dukeblue219: Fortunately it hasn't caused any crashes yet.


Would a crash be due to a collision with another aircraft? Because one of the pilots was blinded? Or because due to a bright flash he can't see for a few seconds means he'll fall forward onto his control stick and go into a nosedive? Or is the pilot passing out from the shock of going blind?

/my eyes! my beautiful eyes!

//stop stealing my carriage returns, fark
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-01-02 04:47:48 PM

durbnpoisn: I would really like to know how someone could point a laser at a moving flying object accurately. I can barely get one to hold still on a shed across the street. And sheds, generally speaking, are rather immobile.


Lasers do spread out over distance, just not as much as incoherent light.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-01-02 04:48:37 PM

TheGreatGazoo: Wouldn't you have to be really dumb to get caught? As in continue to hang out and flash multiple aircraft?


As dumb as you would have to be to do it in the first place.
 
2013-01-02 04:56:10 PM

Rich Cream: Would a crash be due to a collision with another aircraft? Because one of the pilots was blinded? Or because due to a bright flash he can't see for a few seconds means he'll fall forward onto his control stick and go into a nosedive? Or is the pilot passing out from the shock of going blind?


Well, that's the thing. It's dangerous in the sense that anything blinding or distracting to a pilot is dangerous, given that these usually happen at low altitude. But no, it's not like the plane is going to dive straight into the ground.

I think the most likely scenario for a laser-related crash would be a distraction at a critical phase that causes the pilots to make a mistake or skip a step in their checklists. There's probably a greater threat to a small plane pilot who is flying by hand and gets fixated on the laser and flies into an obstruction (maybe a tower) or tries to circle around the laser source, forgets what he's doing, his airspeed drops, and he stalls/spins into the ground.
 
2013-01-02 05:00:25 PM
A guy I know joined the army right out of high school. While he was on his two week break after boot camp he came back here to visit before shipping out. Him and a friend of his were waiting at the airport and apparently thought it would be a fun idea to shine laser pointers at departing jets on the runway. They were surrounded by cops with guns pointed at them pretty quickly. I haven't seen or spoken to him since before this happened, but I hear he was looking at some serious jail time, and was either severely reprimanded or maybe even dishonorably discharged. I can't remember which.
 
2013-01-02 07:22:45 PM
This is a bunch of crap. This bullsh*t laser-in-the-eye witch hunt is getting really f*cking boring. Can't you self-righteous toads go back to complaining about drunk drivers or something else you'd never do because you're all so smart and so well-f*cking well-informed and so civilized and so bloody NICE? Sparkling a windscreen with a laser for a split-second isn't going to make anything or anyone crash, OK? I've driven, I've flown, I've skippered watercraft. I get the idea of 'please don't blind me'. But jesus f*cking christ, you'd think someone just jumped up and shat on the kitchen table, to listen to you jerks piss and moan.

SHUT UP!
 
2013-01-02 08:05:56 PM
when did laser pointers go out of fashion? i remember when i once went to a concert, like everyone had them. now no one does?? :(
 
2013-01-02 08:38:28 PM
Oh...a cop almost died?

Im okay with this...he should have practiced first...then it wouldnt just be an ALMOST dead cop.
 
2013-01-02 08:56:08 PM
Color me really, really unconvinced. This has to do with two things that make me really, really unconvinced: cops and aircraft. Why? Here are two examples:

There are jurisdictions in which giving a cop the finger is classified as an "assault".

A couple decades ago when I used to fly small planes, airline pilots were reporting an approach within a mile of their flying apartment building as a "near miss".

Both are bullsh*t. So is the laser hype.
 
2013-01-02 09:21:01 PM

This About That: Color me really, really unconvinced. This has to do with two things that make me really, really unconvinced: cops and aircraft. Why? Here are two examples:

There are jurisdictions in which giving a cop the finger is classified as an "assault".

A couple decades ago when I used to fly small planes, airline pilots were reporting an approach within a mile of their flying apartment building as a "near miss".

Both are bullsh*t. So is the laser hype.


It's kind of like spraying a water gun into an open window of a car driving down the road.  I don't care if it's actually all that dangerous, if shining laser pointers at planes is how someone gets their jollies they're probably either 9 years old or just a generally tremendous coont.  It's not really behavior that needs to be protected, so if they get arrested, fark 'em.
 
2013-01-02 09:38:44 PM
The problem isn't people shooting lasers at police helicopters...

sfist.com

The problem is that no one is using big enough lasers.
 
2013-01-02 09:46:27 PM
yeah, seriously

how the fark do you get caught doing that, anyway?
just stand there for half an hour with your beacon lighting the way?
 
2013-01-03 03:25:54 AM
Stephen_Falken: This is a bunch of crap. This bullsh*t laser-in-the-eye witch hunt is getting really f*cking boring. Can't you self-righteous toads go back to complaining about drunk drivers or something else you'd never do because you're all so smart and so well-f*cking well-informed and so civilized and so bloody NICE? Sparkling a windscreen with a laser for a split-second isn't going to make anything or anyone crash, OK? I've driven, I've flown, I've skippered watercraft. I get the idea of 'please don't blind me'. But jesus f*cking christ, you'd think someone just jumped up and shat on the kitchen table, to listen to you jerks piss and moan.

SHUT UP!

lost your faa medical on psych grounds, did we?
 
2013-01-03 03:27:38 AM
Stephen_Falken: skippere

Sorry - i amend my previous comments to:

Fark in-thread photo-contest: show pictures of vehicles that Stephen Falken has driven, flown, and skippered.
 
2013-01-03 12:57:16 PM

Bomb Head Mohammed: Fark in-thread photo-contest: show pictures of vehicles that Stephen Falken has driven, flown, and skippered.


www.close-upfilm.com
 
2013-01-03 01:32:51 PM
How do they even catch the people that do this?
 
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