Laser beams aimed at HAL flight — this time two of them

reporters@samoanews.com

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — After reports of another laser beam incident with Hawaiian Airlines — this time last Thursday — the Am. Samoa Dept. of Homeland Security issued a special bulletin late Friday warning that this is a federal offense.

According to the bulletin, reports of another laser beam incident “blinding the Hawaiian Airline (HA) pilot’s cockpit as of last night’s flight, Thursday, April 12, 2018. The pilots of flight HA 465 flying in from Honolulu, Hawai’i arriving in Pago Pago International Airport, American Samoa encountered not one but two laser beams pointed at their line of sight while approaching the landing air strip.”

The bulletin warns that the incident is a very serious crime and violation of federal law.

“We would like to inform the public that it is Illegal to aim laser pointer beams at an aircraft or their flight path. Penalty for violating the federal law is up to 5 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.”

This report follows an earlier incident in January of this year that sparked anger from the community on why someone would do such a thing, which jeopardized the safety of those on board the Boeing 767 plane, which Samoa News understands was carrying some 200 passengers — not including the crew.

“There is nothing funny, humorous or cute about shining a laser at an aircraft,” the FAA said at the time.

One previous laser incident involving a Hawaiian flight while landing at the Tafuna Airport was in the latter part of March 2011.

Local Homeland Security asks that the public report any information they may have relating this this incident at the EOC at 699-3800/699-0411 or police at 633-1111.

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