Pilot: Laser Christmas lights pose dangers to us and may be illegal

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER -- They're supposed to make decorating for the holidays easier -- no ladders, no nails and no hammers -- but investigators with the FAA say some new laser Christmas light displays are proving dangerous to pilots.

“It's something that most people don't think about when they're putting up some kind of display or anything like that," Danny Kelly, a retired pilot, said. "They don't realize that they might be causing a problem.”

Kelly said he wasn't surprised to hear what happened to an American Airlines crew this week in Dallas.

The FAA says a Boeing 737 was struck by a laser while flying at 13,000 feet. A Dallas Police helicopter traced the beam back to a home about 22 miles east of DFW Airport.

"The intent is what's important," Kelly said. "Obviously these people did not intend for this to happen. If they had been told by the FAA to shut it off and they don't then that might border on being violating a criminal law otherwise no it's not."

Kelly says folks who buy laser light displays need to make sure they're pointed at the house and not the sky.

“First of all they're endangering people's lives and second of all, they're endangering people's health and third, they themselves could end up in criminal prosecution,” he said.

A flight expert said the FAA most likely will first ask the homes where people are shooting lasers in to the sky to turn them off or redirect them.

If that doesn't happen they could either go to court or faces criminal charges.

AlertMe