Delta Pilot's Eye Injured By Laser

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A Delta Air Lines pilot says he was grounded for three weeks because of an eye injury resulting from a laser's being pointed at his aircraft in December. Parry Winder told a House panel the "intensely bright green light" also affected his depth perception and resulted in a bumpier landing than normal. Winder said the incident occurred on Dec. 22 as he was on final for Salt Lake City International Airport. He told the congressional panel that the beam struck the cockpit for about six seconds and he and his first officer didn't know what to do. "We did not respond, having no previous experience or knowledge or understanding," he said. They reported the incident but Winder said he brushed it off until he woke up the next morning. His right eye was very painful and an eye surgeon treated him for a swollen retina. He said it took two weeks to heal and it was another week before he could work again. He's still sensitive to bright lights. The panel was told there have been 112 laser incidents reported since November. FAA safety chief Nicholas Sabatini said there have been no crashes attributed to lasers and there's been no indication that terrorists are behind the incidents. The green laser pointers are commonly available over the Internet for less than $200.