Before I go on, I must state that am an Authorised UK Importer & Reseller of Rescue Laser Flares; and owner of the site mentioned before on this forum that sells them.
Rescue Lasers Flares and Laser Pointers are two different products,
The rescue flares produce a line of light as previously stated, that progressive gets bigger the large distance its projected. So the time it hits the aircraft its a massive line. The flashing affect is caused by moving the flare side to side across your fingers that you use to sight. (would normally link to site here with instructions, but don't want to advertise).
This prevents blinding the pilots, last thing that you really want to crash your the helicopter coming to rescue you!
These have been approved by the USA authorities and have been supplied to USA military and coastguard. I believe the Spanish Airforce are using these too. I have supplied units to UK governmental agencies.
An independent review can be found at the following:
Myke Hawke ((http://www.mykehawke.com/
) and Five Gadget Show Review:
The downside to the rescue laser flare is that its is directional, and its designed to be used as pinpoint instead of parachute replacement. To guide rescuers to your location. (How many times you watched the TV rescue shows where the Helicopter cant find the causality.)
I still carry parachute flares on my boat, as last resort, since these can be seen in all directions.
One last point, the Laser flares can be used for picking up retro-reflective tape, when the laser hits the object you get bright flash back, this is useful in finding MOB at night or people in the hills if they have the retro-reflective tape in the clothing.
Any Questions on this product feel free to ask me, and I will do my best to honestly answer them.
A Laser pointer is focus dot of light, that will temp blind a pilot by leaving a dot in his eye.