NTSB Identification: LAX97IA161.
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Scheduled 14 CFR UNITED AIRLINES
Incident occurred Wednesday, April 16, 1997 in RIALTO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1997
Aircraft: Boeing 737-500, registration: N930UA
Injuries: 1 Minor,99 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

The aircraft was on a standard instrument arrival when the captain, who was on the controls, noticed a green light illuminating the aircraft. It appeared to him that the light was tracking the aircraft, but as he pointed out that fact to the first officer, the light disappeared. The captain reported that although the light caused a minimal yet persistent loss of night vision, he was able to maintain control of the aircraft throughout the remainder of the flight. He told ATC that the light appeared to emanate from the western edge of the city. A medical examination by Air Force specialists revealed no permanent evidence of eye damage. Investigators were unable to locate the source of the light. There were no NOTAMs for laser light activity at the time of the incident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:

a laser light source of undetermined origin, directed by unknown person(s) toward the cockpit window of the aircraft, while the aircraft was on an approach to land.

Full narrative available

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