Doctor creates glasses for pilots he claims can block harmful effect of lasers

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Laser pointers are more powerful than ever and are posing an even greater threat to pilots and airlines.

The latest dangerous laser incident came Wednesday evening when a laser light was aimed at Newscopter 7 from a car in Elizabeth, New Jersey. On board, Captain Randy Empey and Shannon Sohn were able to video tape the incident. They stayed calm and police made an arrest.

"Of course there were 20 Wednesday night across the nation, 10 states, Ontario and Puerto Rico, so this is climbing very quickly," says Dr. Nicholas Perricone.

These incidents are all the more reason why Dr. Perricone believes that pilots should be wearing a pair of special glasses - one made for day use, and one for night use that he claims can block the dangerous effects from the sudden flash of a laser.

"You really can't see for a few minutes, it also has a pretty profound psychological effect on the person getting dazzled," Dr. Perricone adds, "these can be worn during the day, and if you flash a laser at me, I can see the laser, but it will not gave a dazzling effect at all."

Dr. Perricone was encouraged to create the glasses three years ago by security officials. Through his Connecticut company, Perriquest, thet have perfected a special coating for the protective lenses.

"By putting on these glasses, we can actually shade the light that appears from the laser to the eye," says Chief Technology Officer Kristin Rauschenbach.

The glasses are also capable of blocking the red, blue and green color laser light without changing the other colors of the objects the pilot needs to see, like instruments and runway signals. The eyes are protected no matter which direction the laser comes from.

"Ensuring color balance, ensuring a very wearable, comfortable pair of eyewear that can provide protection was really the key to the technology we developed," adds Rauschenbach.

Private pilots can purchase the glasses for $380 a pair. They can do prescription lenses, too, but Dr. Perricone is hoping to convince commercial pilots, the airlines and the FAA to adopt their use.

"Mitigation is the key. I think we have solved the problem. Now we just have to get the air carriers and the police, and make sure they start using these things," added Dr. Perricone.

With a growing number of laser sightings, the glasses are being seen as a possible safeguard against the effects of these potentially dangerous attacks.
Related topics:
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.