Someone has been pointing lasers at the cockpits of jet aircraft flying over Palo Alto and Mountain View -- a potentially dangerous action that could interfere with the pilot's sight, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The latest incidents occurred Monday at around 10:15 p.m. near Mountain View and Palo Alto, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.
The two incidents were reported by flight crews traveling to San Francisco International Airport.
An Airbus 320 and an Embraer 170 were hit by a laser at 5,000 feet while heading north-northwest about three miles west of Moffett Federal Airfield. There were no injuries, but air traffic control notified the Palo Alto Police Department. Officers did not find the laser user despite a search of the area where crews believed the beams originated from.
A previous incident on Oct. 26 occurred in Palo Alto near Hanover Street and Foothill Expressway, police spokesman Aaron Sunseri said.
Penalties can be significant for anyone convicted, FAA spokesman Gregor said.
"Anyone who points a laser at an aircraft can face civil penalties from the FAA of up to $11,000 per incident," he said. "Deliberately pointing a laser at an aircraft also is a federal crime, punishable by up to five years in prison."
Aircraft were struck once by a laser beam originating in Palo Alto in 2015 and eight times over Mountain View, not including the two from Monday.
Through Oct. 16, the number of laser strikes at aircraft in three major Bay Area cities were San Jose, 83; San Francisco, 72; Oakland, 51, Gregor said.