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US: Up to 20 years in prison possible in Orlando helicopter incident

A 43-year-old man has admitted guilt in an April 13 2010 incident when he hit a Sheriff’s Office helicopter two times as it flew over Orlando. The pilot “lost temporary sight of the aircraft’s instrumentation and horizon.” Frank Newton Anderson can face up to 20 years in federal prison for one count of interfering with the operation of an aircraft. He will enter his guilty plea before a judge on January 19 2011.

From the Orlando Sentinel

LaserPointerSafety.com news and updates on the Frank Newton Anderson case:
  • Original news item about the April 13 2010 incident is here.
  • December 23 2010 update on guilty plea is here.
  • January 21 2011 update on a possible 10-year sentence for firing a gun at an Orlando sheriff’s helicopter vs. a possible 20-year sentence for Anderson aiming a laser at an Orlando sheriff’s helicopter is here.
  • June 4 2011 update on judge withdrawing from Anderson’s case because prosecutors would not drop felony charge is here. (Judge: Anderson is “an idiot, not a criminal”)
  • September 16 2011 update here quoting the Orlando Sentinel as stating that Anderson was sentenced in July 2011 to one year’s probation and a $4000 fine.