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Lasers Strike Three Flights Approaching Dallas Love Field

Three flights headed to Love Field were struck by lasers near landing, with suspects still on the loose.

Dallas Police and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are looking into reports of lasers striking three flights as they approached Dallas Love Field (DAL), including one hitting a Southwest Airlines flight. The Dallas Morning News reports the three flights were affected by lasers, all coming from the same direction.

The events took place during a half-hour window between 7:15 and 7:45 PM on Wednesday. The three flights were all struck by lasers as they flew between 3,000 and 4,000 feet, during a critical phase of landing. Despite the lasers, the three flights, including the Southwest 737, landed at DAL without incident.

Upon report, Dallas Police used a helicopter to attempt to find those responsible for the laser strikes. However, a spokesperson for the police department told the Dallas Morning News that a suspect was not located.

The laser strikes reflect a growing problem at airports across the United States, not just those in Dallas. A subsequent investigation by the Texas newspaper discovered multiple laser strike incidents reported across the country in 2015, including multiple-strike incidents affecting aircraft.

“Anytime you have multiple strikes, it’s unusual,” Lynn Lunsford, spokesperson for the FAA, told the Dallas Morning News. “Hardly a week goes by in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that we don’t get one or two [strikes].” Earlier this year, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) experienced an incident where at least 30 aircraft were struck by lasers.

Pointing a laser at a commercial aircraft is a federal offense, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. So far this year, over 5,000 laser incidents have been reported to the FAA, reflecting a 37 percent increase from 2014.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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