A WestJet pilot on approach to Florida’s Orlando International Airport from Newfoundland had his eyes burned by a green laser light, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The aircraft was around 25 miles from the airport when the laser hit the pilot, according to spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen. The flight landed safely shortly after, and the pilot was placed on medical leave, which is routine in such cases according to the Canadian Press.
“Any pilot who reports being struck by a laser is required for safety and health reasons to have an ophthalmology evaluation,” said another spokeswoman, Morgan Bell.
“Pilots are extremely focused during all phases of flight, but especially during take-off and landing, when most laser incidents occur,” she added. “When any sort of light enters the flight deck, pilots are trained to look away and maintain focus but they must also remain vigilant with respect to their surroundings and monitor the apron prior to landing.”
The incident is under investigation by the FAA. The agency said it had notified the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, which dispatched a deputy to a central Florida address thought to be the source of the lights. Deputies said everyone at the Covington Drive home was sleeping when they arrived, but a bright green porch light may have been mistaken for the laser.