JetBlue pilot's vision damaged after hit with green laser - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

JetBlue pilot's vision damaged after hit with green laser

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By Jeff Skrzypek

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - There is new information surrounding the JetBlue pilots hit by a green laser Monday night while attempting to land at Palm Beach International Airport. One of those pilots says the incident damaged his vision.

Laser incidents have happened at PBIA 32 times this year and three times within the last week, according to the FAA.

The pilot is speaking out through his doctor and hoping for an arrest. "It bothers me from a safety standpoint because it's a pilot and the potential for all those people on the plane. But it bothers me from a personal level because I know the guy," said Dr. Marc Brockman, Florida Vision Institute.

Dr. Brockman is talking about his friend and patient. Brockman says the pilot is experiencing migraines and short term damage so severe that he's been forced to take the week off. "I can tell you the pilot wants to know exactly who did this. There will be some investigating."

Doctors say when you shine a laser into someone's eye, it damages the retina -- the orange area on the center. And once that goes, so can your vision. "If this were an industrial laser, it only takes a split second," said Dr. Brockman.

Brockman says it doesn't even need to be an accurate shot. He said the eye is naturally drawn to bright lights like a laser.

The feds along with The Palm Beach County Sheriff's are investigating, but so far no arrests have been made. "The word needs to get out that this isn't funny, that this is something that's potentially serious and it is a felony," said Brockman.

The pilot will undergo additional tests, but his doctor suspects he is very fortunate and will not have permanent damage.

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