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Laser pointers target two military planes in North Carolina, Air Force says

Air Force C-17’s taxi and take off from Pope Field

Watch video of US Air Force C-17's taxing and taking off from Pope Field at Ft. Bragg, NC.
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Watch video of US Air Force C-17's taxing and taking off from Pope Field at Ft. Bragg, NC.

Laser pointers were aimed at military planes in two separate incidents recently in North Carolina, according to the U.S. Air Force.

The lasers were aimed at the planes near Pope Army Airfield at Fort Bragg, officials said.

“Lasers can distract or cause serious injury to pilots who already have several things to monitor while airborne,” Pope Army Airfield flight safety manager Rich Galley said in a press release.

“It can cause vision issues and it puts everyone in danger including flight crew members, passengers, and those on the ground. The person may think it’s funny but the results can be catastrophic,” he said.

Air Force officials said the incidents occurred “several weeks apart and were coming from two different locations.”

The Federal Aviation Administration recorded more than 5,500 cases of lasers aimed at aircraft in the United States last year, according to the Air Force.

Pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

A KMBC camera picked up a laser being pointed at the head and eyes of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019.

Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.
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