OMAHA (KPTM)- Douglas County deputies said they spotted a man who shined a laser pointer at an Omaha Police helicopter.
It happened near 152nd and Nebraska Avenue. Police said he shined the light at a plane and then the police helicopter. Local law enforcement think it has happened on multiple occasions. They questioned him, but didn't arrest him. Federal investigators are looking into the case.
People shining laser pointers at planes it has become a growing problem nationwide.
Gary Hausmann has been flying planes for years and only recently were the threat of lasers under his radar.
"Lasers were not designed to cause a problem with an aircraft but somebody has misconstrued the idea of a laser and here we are."
A problem now in Omaha, but even nationwide, The FAA reported nearly 300 problems in 2005, but the latest report showed close to 3,000 problems in 2010.
It's a little tool with big reach. A small green laser that deputies took into evidence is strong enough to light up a cockpit from thousands of feet below. It can block a pilot's vision and can damage their eyes.
"Worst case scenario would be such a case where you land hard or crash land or whatever its going to be but obviously you want to see where you're going."
Officials with the Omaha police department say even their helicopter has been a target several times by a green laser which is also the strongest light power.
But vision isn't the only worry. "You have to wonder if somebody's shooting at you."
Hausmann said the laser threat is something to keep in mind. But it's not going to keep him from the cockpit.
Shining a laser into the sky is not illegal in Nebraska, but it is a federal offense. If you do it you could face an $11 thousand fine. If investigators think it was a criminal act, it could lead to years behind bars.