Lasers pointed at planes flying over New Jersey

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Nearly a dozen flights were targeted over New Jersey Wednesday night, the FAA says. (WPVI)

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after 11 commercial flights reported they were illuminated by lasers while flying over New Jersey.

The FAA says the incidents occurred Wednesday between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

The agency says the lasers hit the left and right sides of the cockpits, along with the sides of the planes. There were no reports of injuries.

Lasers can distract or temporarily blind pilots. Pointing one at a plane is a federal crime.

The FAA says at least three of the incidents involved flights near Newark Liberty International Airport.

Three flights were at 3,000 feet and were 4 miles south of the Outerbridge Crossing, which connects Perth Amboy to Staten Island, New York. One flight was headed to LaGuardia Airport.

Newark's Liberty International had 28 reported laser-pointing incidents last year. The most recent were two incidents in March.

Last May, four planes departing from JFK Airport in New York reported being targeted by a laser, shined from Farmingdale, during the same time period.

Pointing a laser into a cockpit is a federal crime that carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The FAA said 11 commercial flights reported that lasers illuminated their aircraft Wednesday night.

The FAA released a summary of the incidents:

-Porter 141 was at 3,000 feet 15 miles southwest of Newark Liberty International Airport;
-American Airlines 1472 was 20 miles southwest of Newark Airport;
-United Airlines was at 9,000 feet seven miles from Newark Airport;
-American Airlines 966 was at 3,00 feet 15 miles south of Newark Airport;
-Delta Air Lines 504, Shuttle America 3489 and JetBlue 828 were at 3,000 feet four miles south of the Outerbridge Crossing;
-JetBlue 2779 did not report its location;
-American Airlines 348 was at 9,000 feet over New Jersey heading to LaGuardia Airport;
-One aircraft reported it was illuminated when it was over Ocean City;
-Republic Airlines 4632 reported it was at 9,000 feet seven miles northeast of Robbinsville. The flight was heading to Pittsburgh, PA.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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