Laser aimed at Coast Guard plane landing on Maui - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Laser aimed at Coast Guard plane landing on Maui

Coast Guard HC-130H Hercules aircraft Coast Guard HC-130H Hercules aircraft
Lt. Aaron Gastaldo Lt. Aaron Gastaldo
Lt. Casey Corpe Lt. Casey Corpe

KAHULUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Another bright green laser forced a Coast Guard plane to abort its landing during a training mission on Monday night. The HC-130H Hercules aircraft was approaching the Kahului Airport with seven crew members were onboard when someone aimed a laser at the plane. Only co-pilot Lt. Aaron Gastaldo, 38, was affected.

"At 4,000 feet, I noticed a green flash off my left side, a little bit to my left, and I looked down and there was a green laser," said Gastaldo.

The plane immediately returned to Barbers Point on Oahu.

"It's upsetting because we had to call another pilot in who can't spend time with his family, and there's also a gap in the service that we provide to the public as far as distressed mariners," said Gastaldo.

Laser pointers can cause flash blindness or a temporary loss of night vision, but doctors cleared Gastaldo to fly again. This was the third laser incident in a little more than a year for Coast Guard crews based at Barbers Point.

Someone pointed a long-range laser at a helicopter two miles offshore of Oahu in October 2012. Another chopper encounter happened in December 2011. The FAA received 46 reports of laser incidents in Hawaii in 2012, up from 36 in 2011.

"It is difficult, but I know the federal agencies and state agencies are getting better at pinpointing," said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Casey Corpe. "They will try and pinpoint that location and prosecute anybody if they do find them and it is a federal offense."

"It's not a game, so people that are doing it need to stop, and if you know people that are shooting aircraft with lasers, they need to stop, tell their friends to stop," said Corpe.

Police in Dallas, Texas arrested a man who allegedly beamed a laser at a police helicopter tracking a burglary suspect on Monday. The pilot was able to pinpoint the source and officers on the ground nabbed a 22-year-old man.

There were 3,482 last reports nationwide in 2012, according to the FAA.

 

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now.  All rights reserved.

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • Smoking hits new low; about 14 percent of US adults light up

    Smoking hits new low; about 14 percent of US adults light up

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:10 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:10:52 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:33 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:33:39 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File). FILE - In this June 22, 2012, file photo, a smoker snuffs out a cigarette at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. The rate of smoking among adults in the U.S. fell to about 14 percent in 2017, according to new data relea...(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File). FILE - In this June 22, 2012, file photo, a smoker snuffs out a cigarette at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. The rate of smoking among adults in the U.S. fell to about 14 percent in 2017, according to new data relea...
    Smoking by US adults hits another all-time low; about 14 percent smoke cigarettes.More >>
    Smoking by US adults hits another all-time low; about 14 percent smoke cigarettes.More >>
  • Immigrant kids seen held in fenced cages at border facility

    Immigrant kids seen held in fenced cages at border facility

    Monday, June 18 2018 9:00 AM EDT2018-06-18 13:00:17 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:26 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:26:17 GMT
    (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...(U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...
    Hundreds of unaccompanied child immigrants arrested at the U.S. border are being held in metal cages at a family detention facility in McAllen, Texas.More >>
    Hundreds of unaccompanied child immigrants arrested at the U.S. border are being held in metal cages at a family detention facility in McAllen, Texas.More >>
  • Trump defiant despite rising outrage over border separations

    Trump defiant despite rising outrage over border separations

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:30 AM EDT2018-06-19 04:30:55 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:25 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:25:01 GMT
    (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, sit in one of the cage...(U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, sit in one of the cage...
    Trump defends without apology his administration's border policies despite rising outrage over separation of migrant children and parents.More >>
    Trump defends without apology his administration's border policies despite rising outrage over separation of migrant children and parents.More >>
Powered by Frankly