Laser Shined Into Air7 Helicopter In Greenville Co. Prompts Inve - WSPA.com

Laser Shined Into Air7 Helicopter In Greenville Co. Prompts Investigation

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Freeze frame from Air7 Wednesday night Freeze frame from Air7 Wednesday night

Several agencies are investigating after someone pointed a laser at aircraft in Greenville County including WSPA helicopter Air7.

The helicopters were flying above a wreck on Interstate 85 Wednesday night.

The video shows someone in a truck shining a green laser light at the aircraft.

Deputies were able to catch up with that truck later and they handed over the case to the FBI.

Greenville County Sheriff's Office pilot Chris Hines said these laser strikes can cause safety problems to pilots and the people on the ground.

"It really disorients you and it can be dangerous," Hines said.

Some South Carolina counties have restrictions on the sale of laser pointers but not in the Upstate.

Still, there are harsh penalties for abusers of the devices. That includes up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

"These little pen lasers that you get seem harmless but they present a major threat," Hines said.

According to numbers from a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman there have been 3,509 laser strikes nationwide so far this year.

In South Carolina that number is 29 and near Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport there are eight reports so far.

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