Laser pointed at plane above Queens injures pilot

Federal investigators are searching for the person they

Federal investigators are searching for the person they said shined a green laser light into the cockpit of a Delta Air Lines flight on approach to LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday. (Credit: Getty Images/AFP/Karen Bleier)

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Federal investigators are searching for the person they said shined a green laser light into the cockpit of a Delta Airlines flight on approach to LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday.

In a statement released Friday, the FBI said one of the two pilots in the cockpit of Delta Flight 1102 was injured, suffering so-called "flash blindness" that "severely" disrupted his vision.

"The pilot continued to experience pain in his right eye for some time," the FBI said.

The incident occurred at about 8 p.m. as the plane was on approach for landing.

The FBI said the laser beam appeared to originate from an area on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, Queens.

"Laser incidents are often viewed as harmless," FBI assistant director in charge George Venizelos said in the statement. "This couldn't be further from the truth."

The FBI said that other New York-area laser incidents have injured pilots and crews.

Two recent incidents include one on Jan. 25, involving a United Airlines flight on approach to LaGuardia, and a Dec. 26 incident involving a JetBlue flight on approach to Kennedy Airport.

The pilot in the United incident experienced flash blindness and eye irritation for days afterward, the FBI said.

That beam originated from Staten Island.

The Kennedy incident left the JetBlue pilot with blurry vision and the FBI said that pilot was temporarily blinded.

Now, investigators are attempting to locate the source of the Delta incident this week -- and are asking anyone with information to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. A $10,000 reward is available for any information that leads to the arrest of anyone involved in the incident. All calls will remain confidential, the FBI said.

The investigation is being led by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is composed of more than 50 local, state and federal agencies.

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