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Three laser strikes hit planes arriving and departing from Sea-Tac airport last week

Aiming a laser at an aircraft can incapacitate a pilot, putting everyone on the plane in danger.

SEATAC, Wash. — There were three laser strikes reported at Seattle Tacoma International Airport last week, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

A laser strike can incapacitate a pilot, putting everyone on board the plane in danger. 

Three Boeing 737 flight crews reported being illuminated by a laser in the Seattle area last week. 

The flight crews of Delta flight 2076 and Alaska Airlines flight 366 both reported being illuminated by a green laser at an altitude of about 1,800 feet while approaching Sea-Tac airport at around 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 18. 

The flight crew of Alaska Airlines flight 1033 reported being illuminated by a green laser southeast of Sea-Tac airport at an altitude of 4,800 feet on Nov. 19 also around 6:30 p.m.

The FAA is investigating the reports. 

People who are caught shining lasers at aircraft face up to $11,000 in fines per violation and up to $30,800 for multiple laser incidents. 

There were 9,723 laser strike incidents nationwide in 2021, up from 6,852 in 2020. There have been 7,863 laser strikes as of Oct. 31 this year. 

There was a "dramatic increase of laser incidents involving commercial aircraft," in Washington state between February and March earlier this year, according to the FBI.

Last April, the FBI offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for several laser strikes at Sea-Tac airport. The uptick prompted the FAA and the Port of Seattle to ask the public for help in finding the person or persons responsible.

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