Laser Pointed at Air Force Cargo Plane in North Carolina

Members from the 235th Air Traffic Control Squadron (center) align a piece of air traffic control equipment to load aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, March 10, 2019. (Anthony Ballard/North Carolina Air National Guard)
Members from the 235th Air Traffic Control Squadron (center) align a piece of air traffic control equipment to load aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, March 10, 2019. (Anthony Ballard/North Carolina Air National Guard)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say someone pointed a laser at a military cargo plane as it approached an airport.

Citing air traffic control audio, news outlets report the green laser hit the left side of a U.S. Air Force C-17 cockpit that was 12 miles north of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on Thursday night. The aircraft was about 3,000 feet in the air at the time.

Officials have not made any arrests. Pointing a laser at a plane is a felony that can carry a five-year prison term, but it's typically hard to identify suspects in these cases. The pilots were not blinded in this instance.

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