Lasers Hit 11 Planes in One Hour at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Feds Say

Feb. 10, 2022

Lasers hit 11 airliners near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in the space of one hour Monday, Feb. 7, federal officials reported.

No injuries were reported and all the planes landed without incident, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a news release.

Crews on Alaska Airlines, Southwest, Horizon and Delta flights reported cockpit laser hits between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Pacific time, the FAA said.

The FAA and local law enforcement are investigating, the agency said.

Four flights reported laser strikes near the airport Jan. 28, KCPQ reported.

“It’s dangerous, it’s disrespectful and I don’t understand why anyone would do it,” said Deputy Anthony Mullinax, whose King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter has been hit by lasers, KOMO reported.

Lasers can blind pilots and damage cockpit equipment, the FAA said in a Feb. 4 news release. The agency said 9,723 pilots reported laser strikes in 2021, a record.

The agency issued $120,000 in fines for shining lasers at pilots in 2021. Violators can be fined up to $11,000 per offense, the release said. They also can face criminal charges.

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