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Prison for man who aimed laser at planes

November 3, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
An Orange County man has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in federal prison for pointing a laser beam at passenger airplanes. Dana Welch a 37-year-old man from Orange is the first person in the nation to be convicted of interfering with pilots by aiming handheld lasers at planes.

In May of last year, he pointed lasers at two Boeing jets that were trying to land at John Wayne Airport.

The lasers caused one pilot to suffer "flash blindness" and interfered with another pilot's ability to land the plane. Both planes landed safely.