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Laser lights could be a hazard for pilots

Posted at 9:56 PM, Dec 10, 2017

TULSA -- There's something magical about seeing twinkling lights around the neighborhood during the holidays.

"We'd always get in the car listen to Christmas music and drink hot chocolate and go look at the Christmas lights," said Amber Williams, who was out in Jenks looking at Christmas lights with her family.

And the decorations seem to get bigger and better every year.

"The light shows, the technology, the lights itself since they changed to led they're way cooler and more sparkly I guess," said Williams.

But with the new laser systems lighting up some houses, they're also potentially posing a threat to those flying in the sky.

"There are sometimes where they can be, maybe not aimed correctly at the house, and do go over the peak of the roof and may make contact with us," said Chuck Dixon, Owner of Tulsa County Helicopters.

The F.A.A. reports a spike of pilots claiming they were distracted and even temporarily blinded because of the laser displays in the holiday season. This can be a dangerous mix especially for pilots with Tulsa County Helicopters.

"It can burn the cornea of the eye and affect your night vision which is very, very important for us since we're flying out in the dark doing the Christmas light tours," said Dixon.

With several airports in Green Country, the F.A.A. says to make sure the lasers are shining on your home, not up in the sky. As long as homeowners follow these guidelines, they can feel free to make your home the brightest on the block.

"It is really cool to come out here because usually we don't get to see really cool lights like that," said Aleeah Williams, who was watching the lights as well.

First the F.A.A. gives a warning to the homeowner, but if it's a repeated issue, you could find an F.A.A. civil penalty in your stocking this year.

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