Oakland, San Jose airports see frequent laser hits [Updated]

Oakland International and Mineta San Jose International airports rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the number of reported laser strikes on aircraft - which put the lives of pilots and passengers at risk.

Federal Aviation Administration data show those two California airports rank below only Chicago O'Hare, Los Angeles and Phoenix in terms of the frequency of laser strikes on airplanes and helicopters.

There have been 1,251 strikes reported on commercial aircraft in the United States in 2010. And on Tuesday, a green laser struck a San Jose police pilot and a Santa Clara County sheriff's aerial spotter during a routine helicopter patrol.

One San Jose officer says most people who shine laser pointers at aircraft aren't terrorists, but the devices blind pilots just the same.

Information from: San Jose Mercury News

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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