A laser or “lighted object” was reported in the sky at O’Hare Airport as Air Force One was departing the night of August 5, an airport official said. The airport was notified that the object was pointed at an aircraft, the official told the Chicago Sun-Times. The Federal Aviation Administration contacted the tower about the report about 8:30 p.m. An FBI spokesman said he was unfamiliar with the report, but WLS-Channel 7 said the FBI is investigating two incidents of lasers being pointed at planes landing at O’Hare just before the president’s plane took off. Both landed without incident, the station said.
In another incident, a St. Croix man was arrested on a reckless endangerment charge July 25 for allegedly shining a laser pointer at a Life Link helicopter from a campground near Somerset, Wisconsin. Since then the FBI has taken over the case and the U.S. District Attorney in Madison is interested in prosecuting the matter, a sheriff’s deputy said. The Securing Aircraft Cockpits Against Lasers Act of 2007 under Section 2, paragraph (a) states: “Whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path or such an aircraft shall be fined or imprisoned not more than five years or both.” The sheriff’s report on the incident in St. Croix County said the pilot of the Life Link chopper traveling from St. Paul to Rice Lake used his GPS device to locate the source of the laser. Deputies who followed up at about 1 a.m. saw a green laser light reflecting off the clouds at Rivers Edge campground in rural Somerset and apprehended the man.
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