VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Virginia woman has been convicted of intentionally pointing a homemade strobe light at Navy aircraft overhead on Dec. 16, 2019.
Lou Ella Moore, 64, pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor interference with aircraft operations, WAVY-TV reported. She was sentenced to 180 days, all suspended, and 50 hours of community service, the station said, citing the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
She had originally faced a Class-6 felony charge of interfering with or endangering aircraft.
Moore attached laser flashlights to a garden rake and pointed the makeshift device at planes overhead, Naval Criminal Investigative Service spokesperson Jeff Houston told Navy Times in March.
Such lights can cause pilots to become disoriented.
Moore was aiming the strobe lights at Naval Air Station Oceana aircraft and attempting to direct them as they were conducting night training operations out of Naval Auxiliary Field Fentress in Chesapeake, Virginia, in December, Virginia Beach Police and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service said at the time.
NAS Oceana uses the rural landing field for fighter pilots to simulate landing on an aircraft carrier.