"A pilot flying a Delta Air Lines jet was injured by a laser that illuminated the cockpit of the aircraft as it approached Salt Lake City International Airport last week," according to the Washington Times.
The plane's two pilots reported that the Boeing 737 had been five miles from the airport when they saw a laser beam inside the cockpit, said officials familiar with government reports of the Sept. 22 incident. The flight, which originated in Dallas, landed without further incident at about 9:30 p.m. local time.A short while later, however, the first officer felt a stinging sensation in one eye. A doctor who examined the pilot determined that he had suffered a burned retina from exposure to a laser device, the officials said.Earlier this year, an intern at Los Alamos National Laboratory was struck by a laser in the eye, causing retinal damage. That incident lead to a shut down of the lab, and the firing of at least two employees.
John Mazor, a spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association, said commercial pilots have been exposed to laser illumination. "The Air Line Pilots Association has received reports in the past of incidents where lasers penetrated cockpits and, in at least one case, caused injury," Mr. Mazor said...Military personnel also have suffered eye damage from laser illumination. In one case, Naval Lt. Cmdr. Jack Daly and Canadian helicopter pilot Capt. Pat Barnes suffered eye injuries hours after an aerial surveillance mission to photograph a Russian merchant ship that had been shadowing the ballistic-missile submarine USS Ohio in Washington state's Strait of Juan de Fuca.The Navy recently turned down an appeal from the Defense Department inspector general to award Cmdr. Daly a Purple Heart for the incident. Cmdr. Daly, who retired from the service last year, continues to suffer eye pain and deteriorating vision. (via Drudge)