4 in-flight airplanes hit with laser near Sea-Tac

The Federal Aviation Administration said that four flights reported being hit by a green laser near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Jan. 28.

The four flights reported the incident around 6:30 p.m. All were within at most, a five-mile radius of the airport. 

All planes landed without incident and no injuries were reported. 

It's a federal crime to point a laser at an aircraft. The FAA says intentionally aiming lasers at aircrafts poses a safety threat to pilots. Many high-powered lasers can incapacitate pilots flying aircraft that may be carrying hundreds of passengers, the FAA explains on their website. 

Pilots reported a record 9,723 incidents of lasers aimed at their aircraft last year, a 41% jump over the year before.

The FAA said it handed out $120,000 in fines for laser strikes in 2021. Fines can range up to $11,000 for one incident and up to $30,800 for multiple violations, and violators can face federal criminal charges.

The FAA said pilots have reported 244 injuries from laser strikes since the agency began keeping figures in 2010.

The investigation is ongoing. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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