Multiple planes hit with lasers while flying over Long Island: FAA

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FARMINGDALE, Long Island (PIX11) -- At least five flights traveling over Long Island Thursday night were hit by lasers, according to federal officials.

A green laser illuminated the aircraft while they flew 8,000 feet about 4 miles northwest of Farmingdale, a spokesman for the FAA said Friday. The incidents occurred between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

The affected flights are: American 185, Shuttle America 4213, Delta 2292 and Delta 2634, the FAA said. At least two of those flights -- American 185 and Delta 2292 -- originated at John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to the airlines' online flight trackers.

Within the next two hours, another flight -- Sun Country Airlines 249 -- was also hit with a green laser about 11:30 p.m. as it traveled 14 miles southwest of JFK Airport, the FAA said.

New York State Police have been notified and an investigation is underway.

No injuries were reported, though it is extremely dangerous to point a laser at an aircraft, particularly green lasers which are more easily seen than red lasers. Shining a laser into the cockpit of a plane is a federal crime, according to FAA.

“These lasers can temporarily blind a pilot and make it impossible to safely land the aircraft, jeopardizing the safety of the passengers and people on the ground,” then-FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a 2011 news release announcing harsher penalties against those who point lasers at planes.

Also on Friday, a plane traveling from Virginia to LaGuardia Airport had a close call with a drone flying near Brooklyn's Prospect Park, the FAA said.

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