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Mar 8, 2013 7:58 PM by Lupita Murillo

Two arrests after laser strike on commerical airliner

TUCSON - Two men were arrested and charged with endangerment after deputies say they pointed lasers at a commercial airline on March 5th.

Pima County Sheriff's deputies say 23-year-old Jack Downey and 22-year-old Daniel Pribula could face prison time and hefty fines.

The Sheriff's Air Unit was in the air at the same time the commercial airliner was. The air unit's pilot was also hit multiple times with the laser.

Sheriff's Deputy and pilot Chris James says, the longer the strike the more dangerous it can be for the pilot. "The beam increases as it gains in altitude so when it strikes the cockpit it blooms and it refracts in the cockpit and it illuminates pretty much the entire cockpit."

After the commercial pilot reported the laser strikes to the tower, air unit deputies located Downey and Pribula.

Pilots are asking people to think twice about pointing lasers at the aircrafts. They say it's not a game and the outcome could be disastrous.

Tucson is among the top airports in the country for laser strikes.

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