Orlando, Fla. -
49 year old Glenn Stephen Hansen has pleaded guilty to pointing a laser beam at airplanes departing Orlando International Airport, MCO, and now faces up to five years in prison. Prosecutors say Hansen aimed his laser pointer at departing aircraft 23 times between January 2012 and March 2012.
During court proceedings, it was alleged that some departing aircraft had to take evasive action as a result of Hansen's laser, however, they were unable to provide any evidence of that, or find a pilot willing to attest to that in court.
Aiming a laser pointer at airplanes can be dangerous say FAA officials because it can distract the flight crew during a critical time of flight, or in some cases can even blind them temporarily.
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 specifically established new criminal offenses for aiming a laser beam at airplanes in the U.S.
[File Photo: Southwest Airplane Departs MCO]