February 12th, 2014
10:04 AM ET

Camera's Journey From Heavens to Pigpen

A GoPro camera falls out of airplane while its owner is skydiving and lands in a pigpen.

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February 12th, 2014
10:01 AM ET

Nearly 4000 Laser Attacks Annoyed, Injured U.S. Pilots Last Year

Pulsating light bursts into the cockpit of a plane thousands of feet in the air, filling it with seething brightness, and blinding the pilot and copilot.

What sounds like a cheap reenactment in a hokey UFO reality show has become everyday reality in the United States.

Laser attacks on aircraft occur an average of 11 times a day, the Federal Aviation Administration says.

Powerful handheld lasers are affordable and widespread, and some people are making sport of shining them up into passing aircraft. The trend seems to be catching on.

There were 3,960 such strikes reported last year, the FAA says. That's up from 283 in 2005.

But reporting of these crimes has also caught on, which has contributed to the rise in official numbers.

Still, hundreds of attacks go unreported and remain uncounted.

The FBI wants them to stop and is offering reward money for tips leading to the pranksters.

And it's making some arrests. Though it takes work to track down the source of the laser, it can be done with a helicopter, a dispatcher and squad cars.

The FBI has posted YouTube video of one such bust.

It has detained mostly teenage boys and men in their 30s, who face a possible five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

And the FBI is not the only one posting a bounty on them.

For the next two months, 11 U.S. cities and San Juan, Puerto Rico, are offering up to $10,000 for information leading to arrests.

Attacks are particularly common in New York and Los Angeles, and they often obstruct the work of the targeted pilots.

"When a laser light flashes across the cockpit, it's about 25% brighter than a flashlight flashing in your face. So what that does is, that can cause temporary incapacitation," said Stephen Woolery, an FBI agent pursuing laser pranksters.

But the consequences can be much worse than just annoying.

A pilot coming in for a landing at JFK two years ago radioed the tower right after an attack.

"We just got lasered up here," he said. "Two green flashes into the cockpit. It caught the first officer's eye."

A direct hit can burn the cornea, and that has put pilots in the hospital.

So far, no laser strike has been known to cause a pilot to crash an aircraft.

But the FBI fears it is only a matter of time.

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February 12th, 2014
09:59 AM ET

3.7 Million Graco Car Seats Recalled Due to Buckle Issue

In one of the biggest such recalls ever, Graco has agreed to recall 3.7 million child car seats manufactured in recent years - even as it officially contests a government request to recall nearly 1.8 million more - over a buckling issue.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Tuesday that Graco is voluntarily recalling 11 of 18 model seats that the government agency had asked it to recall.

"NHTSA's investigation will remain open pending its evaluation of the Graco recall and until the agency's consideration of the review of the 7 remaining sea models is completed," the department said.

The 3.7 million seats alone makes this recall the fourth biggest ever for car seats, according to the federal agency. If all the seats the NHTSA was asking to Graco to recall are added in, it would be the biggest.

In a statement, Graco said the voluntary recall affects "harness buckles used on all toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats manufactured from 2009 to July 2013."

"This is not a new issue for us," Graco spokeswoman Ashley Mowrey said, noting that all products sold since July don't have the same problem. "We've been working to help consumers for some time now."

At issue: the red release button in the center of the harness, which the NHTSA said can become difficult to unlatch, or can become stuck. That can make it difficult or impossible to remove the child quickly in an emergency.

Graco explained that it found "that food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position."

The children's products company added that it was offering a "new and improved replacement harness buckle to affected customers at no cost." People can obtain one by calling 800-345-4109 or emailing consumerservices@gracobaby.com.

Until they get such a replacement, Graco believes that parents should continue using their seats for their children.

"This does not, in any way, affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain a child," the company said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, meanwhile, said it "encourages parents and caregivers to consider acquiring an alternative car seat for transporting children until their Graco seat is fixed."

Graco reports no injuries associated with this issue on seats, which sold for between $99 and $400.

According to Graco's website, the recall models include these toddler convertible car seats: the Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70 and Smart Seat.

The harnessed booster seats that are part of the recall are the Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Elite and Argos.

According to the government, the seven models that Graco isn't recalling despite being asked to do so by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are all infant seats. Specifically, they are: Snugride, Snugride 30, Snugride 32, Infant Safe Seat-Step 1, Snugride 35, Tuetonia 35, and Snugride Click Connect 40.

Asked about these models, Graco's spokeswoman said that any customers with those or other car seats can still call and get a new harness buckle sent to them for free.

"They are not officially recalled; however, customers experiencing any difficulty with their harness buckle can still get a new one," said Mowrey.

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February 12th, 2014
09:56 AM ET

'One of Mother Nature's Worst Kinds of Storms'

After icing parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, a winter storm arrived Wednesday in Georgia, dropping a mix of ice and rain that was expected to continue pelting the Southeast into Thursday.

Up to three-quarters of an inch of ice was expected to accumulate on Atlanta and up to 10 inches of snow and sleet on Charlotte, North Carolina, making travel treacherous.

Area residents had heeded ample warnings issued by forecasters, emptying grocery store shelves, filling up their tanks with gas and filling their trunks with salt. In Atlanta, the city that couldn't get out of its own way after a 2.6-inch snowfall two weeks ago, road crews were staged along nearly empty highways.

The low is expected to move up the East Coast, dropping snow on the Northeast, with 4 to 8 inches predicted for Washington and 6 to 10 inches on New York from midnight Wednesday into the day Thursday.


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