SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A United Airlines Boeing 787, nearing the end of a nearly 15-hour flight to the Bay Area from Tel Aviv, had its cockpit flashed with a laser while on final approach to San Francisco International Tuesday, officials said.

FAA Pacific Division Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor tweeted the flight was at an altitude of 600 feet on its 2-mile final approach to runway 28R when the crew was distracted by the laser at 5:55 a.m.

San Francisco duty manager Russ Mackey said the flight was able to land safely. No injuries were reported.

The laser “did not have any operational impact” on the landing, he said.

San Francisco police interviewed the plane’s crew following the landing, but no information about the investigation into who pointed the laser was immediately available.

Pilots say the effect of a laser flashing into the cockpit is very similar to the effect of a car’s high-beam headlights at a short distance — it can temporarily distract or even blind the crew.


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