Reports of flashlight lasers pointed at aircraft from a North Amityville...

Reports of flashlight lasers pointed at aircraft from a North Amityville schoolyard Wednesday prompted the Republic Airport tower to warn pilots in the area, officials said. Credit: Barry Sloan

 

Suffolk County Police said they were investigating a report of individuals pointing flashlight lasers at aircraft from a North Amityville schoolyard on Wednesday night.

First Precinct officers responded to North East Elementary School on Albany Avenue at 8:15 p.m. but found no one there, police said.

The report prompted the Republic Airport tower to warn pilots in the area, officials said.

A News 12 Long Island chopper was on its way back to Republic when it had lasers pointed at it several times, the news agency reported Friday.

The helicopter staff said they were able to locate where the light was coming from and notified police.

Aviation officials have said pointing a laser at a pilot could cause temporary blindness and lead to a crash.

Pointing a laser at a plane is a federal crime punishable by fines up to $11,000 per violation and up to $30,800 for multiple laser incidents.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it issued $120,000 in fines for laser strikes in 2021.

Reported incidents of lasers aimed at aircraft nationwide have steadily increased in recent years, from 7,398 in 2016 to 9,457 in 2022, according to the FAA.

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