aviation

St. Louis On The Air
1:13 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

WWII B-17 Pilot: 'It Took All Of Us'

Col. Basil Hackleman flew 30 missions in B-17 bombers before training future pilots. He is the original pilot of the Nine-o-Nine.
Amanda Honigfort

During World War II, thousands of B-17 Flying Fortress bombers took to the skies daily. The planes were a crucial part of campaigns, from the bombing of Dresden to D-Day, and were flown by the likes of Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart and Lt. Col. Basil Hackleman.

Hackleman, who now lives in Springfield, Mo., was the original pilot of the Nine-o-Nine, a celebrated B-17 that is said to have never lost a crew member or abort a mission because of mechanical failure. The plane was scrapped after the war.

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Laser Pointers/ Aviation
3:46 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

St. Charles man indicted on charges of pointing laser at aircrafts

A view from the pilot's seat when a laser beam, like that from a laser pointer, hits the cockpit glass. (Video shot in a simulator).
(Screen capture via YouTube/ildalasershows/FAA/U.S. Air Force)

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced today that Brian David Monday has been indicted for allegedly pointing a green laser beam into the cockpit of an in-flight airplane and helicopter on Nov. 4, 2011 in St. Charles.

The 30-year-old Monday of St. Charles was indicted by a federal grand jury and is facing one felony count of interfering with an airplane and a helicopter.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000 if convicted. 

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Laser Pointers / Aviation
2:36 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Another laser strike on police helicopter in St. Louis area

A view from the pilot's seat when a laser beam, like that from a laser pointer, hits the cockpit glass. (Video shot in a simulator).
(Screen capture via YouTube/ildalasershows/FAA/U.S. Air Force)

Police in St. Louis County are investigating another laser strike on aircraft.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a green laser hit a police helicopter flying over the Webster Groves area Thursday night. Pilots could not find the source of the laser beam, and no arrests have been made.

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Laser Pointers / Aviation
3:01 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

St. Louis-area case highlights dangers of laser pointers

A view from the pilot's seat when a laser beam, like that from a laser pointer, hits the cockpit glass. (Shot in a simulator).
(Screen capture via YouTube/ildalasershows/FAA/U.S. Air Force)

The FBI is warning that aiming laser pointers at flying aircraft is a serious offense punishable by years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.

At a press conference Monday, St. Louis officials said that pilots typically report several laser strikes per day.

Doug Reinholz is a helicopter pilot with the St. Louis Police Department.  He says the light from laser pointers can be blinding to pilots, particularly at night.

"It's equivalent to like a flash of a camera if you were in a pitch black car at night," Reinholz said.

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