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Old 02-04-2019, 10:02 AM   #1  
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Default 2 Laser Events in PHX

Twice now I have flow into PHX and had a laser event. 1st was in Nov and did enough eye damage that I was grounded for a few weeks. Starting a left turn to final for 25L the flight deck was illuminated with a bright green light. This wasn't a laser pointer that you buy at Walmart. This was a high powered laser likely from Ebay or China. Damaged my retina which thankfully cleared up a few weeks later. When I landed Airport Ops met me at the airplane and said these happen so often the cops likely would not come out to even take a report. So I didn't file one not knowing at the time I was going to be out of work for a few weeks due to the injury. I did however file a laser report with the FAA and they never contacted me about it.

Last week flying into PHX again I had another eye injury at about the same place (this is likely the same idiot). I was in the turn for final 25L when at about the same place as the previous incident the flight deck was illuminated by a bright green light. Unfortunately I instinctively looked at the source of the light and it got me right in the eye again. Had the expected spot in my view but landed the plane without incident. This time I demanded over the radio that law enforcement meet me on the ramp, Ops was waiting for me when I taxied in. Report was taken and we narrowed down the location to a roughly mile wide area which was outside the jurisdiction of PHX police. The officer promised to forward the report to the dept who had jurisdiction but likely nothing would be done to investigate this specific incident.

My company is pretty useless about this stuff. No procedures for these sorts of events. I have heard other stories that company pilots were escorted to the hospital when it happened to them. I was left to figure out things on my own (twice now). Spent 7 hours in the ER (after a full 15 hour duty day) waiting for a opthamologist who never showed up and was referred for an appointment 3 days later. Very likely there is nothing wrong but I am grounded again until I am cleared by a doctor.

Both of these events happened in roughly the same place leading me to think its the same person, i'm just unlucky enough to get caught twice. But without something specific happening I doubt anything will be done to catch the laser idiot.

I'd like to recommend a process to my company and would like to know what other airlines do when these sorts of events happen.

Do you have a published procedure? Or checklist to follow in the event of a laser event?

Next time I am considering declaring an emergency and orbit over the piece of craps house until I can direct the police to the location. Short of that I doubt anything will be done to catch the forker.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:26 AM   #2  
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Some progress here, but not enough.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...l-airport.html

https://www.cnn.com/2015/09/04/us/la...est/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2016/01/07/us/la...est/index.html
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:21 PM   #3  
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Since it's a known location AND it's powerful enough to cause damage, I'd get some eye protection to wear when going into PHX.

Here's info specific to pilots...

Laser Pointer Safety - Laser Glare Protection eyewear for pilots

Also did you contact the FBI... I think they do have jurisdiction in addition to the local yokels since it involves aviation, and they might actually care if you suffered eye damage. Especially if it's a repeat offender who they might be able to actually catch.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:33 PM   #4  
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Since it's a known location AND it's powerful enough to cause damage, I'd get some eye protection to wear when going into PHX.

Here's info specific to pilots...

Laser Pointer Safety - Laser Glare Protection eyewear for pilots

Also did you contact the FBI... I think they do have jurisdiction in addition to the local yokels since it involves aviation, and they might actually care if you suffered eye damage. Especially if it's a repeat offender who they might be able to actually catch.
That's a good idea. I'll reach out to the local FBI office and see what they have to say.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:18 AM   #5  
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The officer promised to forward the report to the dept who had jurisdiction but likely nothing would be done to investigate this specific incident.
Did you speak to their manager?

Sometimes you have to go up the chain as far as you need to go, that may even involve the city elected representatives. Unfortunately, some public servants will "encourage" you to dismiss complaints and things like this, so they don't have to do the work. This may be more in the area of the FBI, but it then begs to question why that officer didn't contact the FBI, the local police is likely the "primary" organization until any investigation is handed over to the final responsible organization.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:21 AM   #6  
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This may be more in the area of the FBI, but it then begs to question why that officer didn't contact the FBI, the local police is likely the "primary" organization until any investigation is handed over to the final responsible organization.
I was thinking, but didn't say, that it might have been a turf thing. The locals might not have wanted to deal with the feebies, or might have been afraid it would involve more work for them.

Worst case, go to the local media. He has police reports and documentation of injury. The public might be interested to know that the pilots flying them in and out of their home town are at risk of incapacitation from powerful lasers.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:15 AM   #7  
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I was thinking, but didn't say, that it might have been a turf thing. The locals might not have wanted to deal with the feebies, or might have been afraid it would involve more work for them.

Worst case, go to the local media. He has police reports and documentation of injury. The public might be interested to know that the pilots flying them in and out of their home town are at risk of incapacitation from powerful lasers.
Yeah, no media. I donít want the drama. Itís embarrassing enough itís happened twice now just to me. We had one pilot a year ago get hit but donít know the story. And no one else seems to be making a big deal out of this so Iím likely over reacting. Iíll put in a call to the FBI and leave it with them.

I get the danger but how much can we really do here? Both times I was able to safely land the plane without any concerns. Iím ****ed than I lost some work as a result but the company eventually came around and covered my losses through workers comp.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:46 AM   #8  
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Probably some idiot in a trailer park wondering "When are they going to move that gosh darn airport!!????!?!!!"
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:54 AM   #9  
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Yeah, no media. I donít want the drama. Itís embarrassing enough itís happened twice now just to me. We had one pilot a year ago get hit but donít know the story. And no one else seems to be making a big deal out of this so Iím likely over reacting. Iíll put in a call to the FBI and leave it with them.

I get the danger but how much can we really do here? Both times I was able to safely land the plane without any concerns. Iím ****ed than I lost some work as a result but the company eventually came around and covered my losses through workers comp.
It is a big deal. You were attacked and injured (with possible long-term ramifications) while piloting an airliner.

If it got in the media the FBI would probably pile one.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:58 PM   #10  
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Yeah, no media. I donít want the drama. Itís embarrassing enough itís happened twice now just to me.
So is this important to you or not? It's not necessarily that you have to go to the media, but damn, if you know something is screwed up you keep going up the management chain until someone does something. Hold your public servants accountable.
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