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US: Crew member has partial vision loss from laser illumination

A crew member on a medical rescue flight said he lost 30 percent of the vision in his right eye, after being illuminated by a green laser on September 15 2017 while on approach to Centennial Airport, located 17 miles southeast of Denver, Colorado.

Respiratory therapist Justin Misuraca was sitting in the co-pilot’s seat of a Flight for Life plane, helping the pilot watch for other air traffic, when a bright green light filled his vision. He closed his eyes and looked away; when he opened his eyes he was blinded for a few seconds.

A few days later he saw an eye specialist. Misuraca said the specialist told him “…there was a burn all the way to the back of my eye, and I’m missing 30 percent of my vision in an upside-down V.” He was told the burn was “half a millimeter from my optic nerve.”

Justin Misuraca laser injury 500w
This screenshot from the KUSA 9news segment “Next” shows Justin Misuraca with a triangular blur overlay that the program says represents the visual effect of the laser injury. The area is highlighted below between the green lines to better define the area.

Justin Misuraca laser injury highlighted 500w

Misuraca reported this in an October 25 2017 interview with a reporter, so the vision loss was still present over a month after the laser illumination.

The pilot on the September 15 flight also reported temporary blindness but has no permanent injury.

According to Flight for Life, there have been “at least a dozen times in the last couple of years” that the organization’s aircraft have been targeted by a laser beam. The source of the September 15 laser illumination is unknown.

From October 25 and October 26 reports by 9news.com

US: Medical helicopter pilot in Denver has "sore eyes" after laser illumination

The pilot of a medical helicopter flying in the Denver area was illuminated with a laser beam at about 8:30 pm local time on March 30 2015. The pilot made a “precautionary landing … was checked out and is off work for the next few days due to having sore eyes.”

The source of the laser is unknown.

From KUSA 9 News

US: Denver police "swarm" a home after blue laser is aimed at airplane

“Police came from every direction” to search a west Denver home, after a pilot reported a laser beam aimed at an airplane on August 15 2013. A police helicopter responding to the report was able to locate an active laser and guided ground units to the home. According to a TV report, as police swarmed the home the “neighbors had no idea what was happening.”

One neighbor interviewed said a man had aimed a “bright blue light” at her children. A woman in the police-targeted house said her son-in-law was contacted by police but could not say if he was charged. She did say that police said they would turn the case over to the FBI.

The house is located about 21 miles southwest of Denver International Airport.

According to the FAA, there were 32 Denver-area laser/aircraft incidents during 2012, compared with 41 from January 1 to August 15 2013.

From Fox31 Denver