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Report: Laser pointed at military aircraft headed to Charlotte airport

The aircraft was about 12 miles north of the airport when the crew reported the laser strike, police said.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A laser caused a potentially dangerous situation for a military aircraft near Charlotte. 

The FAA says the U.S. Air Force C-17 was on final approach to Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 11 p.m. Thursday.  

That's when a green laser illuminated the inside of the aircraft. The North Carolina Air National Guard was returning, after a training mission.

The aircraft was 12 miles north of the airport when the laser strike was reported, according to the FAA. The plane was at approximately 3,000 feet during the incident, according to the North Carolina Air National Guard.  

NBC Charlotte obtained audio recordings of air traffic control from LiveATC.net.

"Attention all aircraft, green laser reported two miles east of (unintelligible) intersection on the ILS runway 111," the tower said in the LiveATC.net recording.

Fortunately, the plane landed safely and no members of the flight crew were injured.   

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department confirmed an unknown person pointed a laser pointer at a military aircraft headed to Charlotte Douglas.

The Air National Guard is providing full cooperation to local, state and federal authorities. No further details were provided. It remains an ongoing investigation. 

The penalty for targeting an aircraft is up to a quarter million dollars and 20 years in prison. Anyone with information about the laser strike is asked to call the FBI at 704-672-6100.