NEWARK, N.J. (KRON/CNN) — An investigation is under way after 11 commercial flights reported lasers were pointed at them Wednesday night as the planes flew over New Jersey.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, about half of the incidents were close to Newark Liberty International Airport, while the others occurred elsewhere in New Jersey. They were reported to have happened from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
So-called laser attacks can distract or temporarily blind pilots. Pointing a laser at a plane is a federal crime.
“When aimed at an aircraft from the ground, the powerful beam of light from a handheld laser can travel more than a mile and illuminate a cockpit, disorienting and temporarily blinding pilots,” according to the Transportation Security Administration on its website. “Those who have been subject to such attacks have described them as the equivalent of a camera flash going off in a pitch black car at night.”
Investigators say the lasers on Wednesday hit the sides of the planes’ cockpit, along with the sides of the aircrafts. There were no reports of injuries.