Colorado Springs man facing federal charges for pointing lasers into plane cockpits

DENVER — A Colorado Springs man is facing federal charges for pointing lasers into plane cockpits at the Colorado Springs Airport.

Eric Joseph Gow, 21, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday. He faces three counts of aiming a laser at an aircraft. Prosecutors said he repeatedly pointed high-intensity lasers into cockpits “during critical stages of flight” at the Colorado Springs Airport.

Aviation experts say lasers can temporarily blind and disorient pilots, possibly leading to major mishaps. In 2015, the Colorado Springs Airport reported 31 laser strikes. Denver International Airport reported 138 strikes. Nationwide, pilots reported 7,347 laser strikes.

If convicted on all counts, Gow faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000.

The case was investigated by the FBI, Colorado Springs police, and the FAA.

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