Unauthorized Laser Illuminations: Pilot Operational Procedures(STABILIZED Mar 2021)
This document addresses the operational safety and human factors aspects of unauthorized laser illumination events in navigable airspace. The topics addressed include operational procedures, training, and protocols that flight crew members should follow in the event of a laser exposure. Of particular emphasis, this document outlines coping strategies for use during critical phases of flight. Although lasers are capable of causing retinal damage, most laser cockpit illuminations, to date, has been relatively low in irradiance causing primarily startle reactions, visual glare, flashblindness and afterimages. Permanent eye injuries from unauthorized laser exposures have been extremely rare. This document describes pilot operational procedures in response to the visual disruptions associated with low to moderate laser exposures that pilots are most likely to encounter during flight operations. With education and training, pilots can take actions that safeguard both their vision and the safety of their passengers.