Pilot flying to Orlando has eyes burned by laser

Pilot has been put on medical leave

By Jon Jankowski - Digital journalist

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A pilot flying a WestJet aircraft from Canada to the Orlando International Airport had his eyes burned by green laser light, according to an incident report from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

A Federal Aviation Administration employee said the plane was 10,000 feet in the air above Sanford when the the pilot was hit by the green laser. 

The FAA said the inicdent happened around 9:50 p.m. on Saturday.

The Boeing 737 landed safely in Orlando. 

During the laser attack, the crew could not determine where the laser was coming from due to a risk of exposure, according to the FAA. 

The FAA employee told investigators after the attack they could see a green light coming from Covington Drive in Deltona. 

The crew was not certain if this was the location where the laser came from, according to the incident report.

The incident report shows the pilot has been put on medical leave and will be evaluated in the upcoming days.

This past Sunday, a Volusia County deputy responded to a home on Covington Drive in reference to the laser complaint, according to the incident report. 

The deputy said people living at the home had no knowledge of the incident they did not own any lasers. The home does have a bright green front porch light.
 

WestJet released a statement on the incident:

Laser incidents pose a serious concern to crew and aircraft safety and have serious repercussions for those found to be shining lasers in a manner that could result in injury or damage. These incidents are reported immediately to local authorities for further investigation. Pilots are extremely focused during all phases of flight, but especially during take-off and landing, when most laser incidents occur. When any sort of light enters the flight deck, pilots are trained to look away and maintain focus but they must also maintain vigilant with respect to their surroundings and monitor the apron prior to landing. Pilots take on an incredible responsibility controlling an aircraft, and it is WestJet’s duty to ensure a safe work environment for them to operate in. Any pilot who reports being struck by a laser is required for safety and health reasons to have an ophthalmology evaluation.
 

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