Police investigate laser pointed at plane landing in Springfield

Photo: FAA
Photo: FAA
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 5:10 PM CDT
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Police in Willard, Mo. are investigating who shined a laser at an incoming plane.

It happened on the approach to the Springfield-Branson National Airport Sunday night. A pilot reported a laser being pointed at his plane as he landed at the Springfield-Branson National Airport. He relayed that report to the tower who then relayed that report to the Willard Police Department.

"We were dispatched to an area just south of McDonald's in Willard," said Willard Police Chief Tom McClain.

According to a statement from the FAA, the plane in this case was Cessna Citation Jet. The pilot was able to give police a pretty specific description of where the laser came from.

"A subdivision, where, uh, a subject, that we were not able to locate, apparently was shining a laser light at an airplane," said McClain.

If someone is caught doing this, they face some serious consequences.

"A person who knowingly shines a laser light at an airplane, um, would be subject to a maximum of a $250,000 fine and/or a five-year prison sentence," said McClain. "And it could be both depending on the situation."

Chief McClain said this is the first time he knows a report of a laser being pointed at an airplane was reported in his jurisdiction, but, at the same time, he said he's not surprised that something like this has happened.

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