Neb man gets prison for aiming laser at aircraft


July 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – An Omaha man who aimed a laser point at a jetliner and police helicopter has been given two years in federal prison. 30-year-old Michael Smith was sentenced on Monday.

Prosecutors say a Southwest Airlines pilot reported that a laser pointer was aimed into his cockpit as the airliner was landing at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield on the morning of July 11, 2012. A police helicopter responded, and it, too, was targeted several times by a laser pointer. The pilot of the helicopter reported that he was temporarily blinded by the laser beam.

A Douglas County sheriff’s deputy testified that he found Smith in his backyard, pointing the laser at aircraft.