Airline pilots flying over New Jersey last night got an unwelcome surprise: green laser-beam blasts from thousands of feet below. A total of 11 airplanes were hit flying over the state, according to the FAA. The incidents allegedly took place between about 9 and a little after 10:30 p.m., with at least three aircraft targetted near Newark, forcing air-traffic control to reroute the planes’ approaches into the airport. Other commercial jets were hit near the Outerbridge Crossing, another in Ocean City on the shore, and one near the Pennsylvania border.
The FAA is investigating all the reports, which seemed to be pretty equally distributed across the carriers. No pilots reported any injuries, but laser pointers can be especially dangerous, as they can temporarily blind pilots. Laser-beam attacks on planes have been on the rise, up 1,100 percent since the FBI started keeping track in 2005. In 2013, the FBI estimated there were 11 laser attacks per day on commercial airlines — but 11 in one night from one state, even if it is New Jersey, is particularly alarming.