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Popular Holiday Lights Displays Posing Danger for Pilots

Some holiday lights on houses are causing a dangerous problem for pilots.

Just last week, Star Shower lights made headlines across the country. On Monday, the NBC 6 chopper was in the sky when laser lights from a Star Shower display shined in the pilot's eyes.

Bright yellow, green and red laser lights from a Christmas display filled the cockpit as the chopper was in the sky north of 595 in Plantation.

"Absolutely a safety of flight issue. You are flying in the dark and the next thing you know, you just get blasted with this real bright light," said Steven J. Grey, Total Traffic Helicopter.

You can make your home shine bright with the wildly popular display. But NBC News reported a few days ago that the lasers from the Star Shower light show affected a commercial aircraft.

Monday marks the second time the traffic crew told NBC 6 they were startled by holiday lights.

"It happened last week and once again this morning. People are just shining these laser lights up at us. People don't realize we are flying in the very dimly lit cockpit of a helicopter and it's dangerous," Grey said.

The Broward Sheriff's Office is always warning the public not to shine any type of laser at an aircraft.

"When they do have these lasers that do go up in the air, a lot of them may have lights that spin around, rotate up and they illuminate up in the sky and when we are wearing night vision goggles, it does create a problem to us because it can blind us for a while," said Sgt. Christine Ponticelli with BSO Aviation.

Star Shower's makers said there is a warning right on the website and packaging not to project the lights within the flight path of an aircraft with 10 nautical miles of an airport. It said its products are compliant with all regulations and Consumer Product Safety standards, and its light beams are much lower in power than a typical laser pointer.

If you have one of these displays, the advice is to keep it pointed towards the ground or directly at the wall. Police have been arresting those who they believe are intentionally pointing lasers at aircraft.

All this is a real problem for those flying, especially those holiday lights because they have multiple beams in the displays.

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