Feds probe laser pointed at plane above Queens

The laser beam that affected a Delta Air

The laser beam that affected a Delta Air Lines flight Tuesday, March 25, 2014, appeared to originate from an area on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, Queens, according to the FBI. This photo taken Jan. 20, 2011, shows a Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 taking off in Tampa, Fla. Photo Credit: AP / Chris O'Meara

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Federal investigators are searching for the person who shined a green laser into the cockpit of a Delta Air Lines flight on approach to LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday.

One of the pilots in the cockpit of Delta Flight 1102 suffered "flash blindness," the FBI said Friday in a statement.

"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 preparing to land. 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 other laser incidents in the New York metropolitan area have injured pilots and crews.

Lasers were aimed at a United Airlines flight on approach to LaGuardia on Jan. 25, and at a JetBlue flight on approach to Kennedy Airport on Dec. 26, authorities said.

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The United pilot experienced flash blindness and eye irritation for days afterward, and the JetBlue pilot was also temporarily blinded, the FBI said.

Investigators are attempting to locate the source of the Delta laser strike and are asking anyone with information to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. A $10,000 reward is offered for information leading to an arrest. 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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