Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
Laser pen attacks on civilian commercial aircraft and Police helicopters June 13, 2012 by David Norriss
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has recently declared evidence of greatly increased numbers of l@ser light pen attacks on commercial aircraft which are in the final approach stages to land at UK civil airports. The number of incidents recorded has risen from 20 in 2005 to an alarming 1,909 in 2011. The major city airports outside of the London airports area appear to have been the most affected with annual rates of 107 at Glasgow, 93 at Liverpool and 143 at Birmingham....
Location: All over the shop and sometimes BEHIND YOU !
The key to getting these buggers in the courts is to educate the local Cops, Police call takers and controlroom staff to deploy to reports asap.
### Plus aircrews reporting them to ATC to alert the Police + other a/c ###
I did a briefing for all my staff (it took two sessions a week for 5 weeks to do them all) after we had a large increase in reports around LGW and LHR. This was with the help of LGW and LHR Aviation Security Teams or 'Manpads' as they are known.
This lead to a better understanding of just how important reports from aircraft crew being 'Lasered' should be taken and thankfully the courts are on side too as highlighted above.
Sadly however its something that is going to be on the increase and with the cheap l@sers from overseas geting more and more powerful (20 miles range for under £100 and DIY mods on YouTube) the industry / military will have to look into ways of protecting crews from a mindless few idiots.
Longer jail terms and a visit from an Attack Helie might help too ! ! !
So all that's needed to sort Joe Scrote, is a hacked multi regioned Paveway (no specific l@ser code needed) sent on its merry way 'up the beam' which would increase in accuracy the closer it gets due to reducing scatter
I have done some work on the l@ser problem with the CAA recently. CAA is working with civpol on a national awareness/education campaign for the magistrates to ensure there is a common understanding of the problem across the country - some of them just don't get it!
The little darlings with l@sers are now turning their attentions to road and rail users too. I suppose it's better than having a paving stone lobbed through your windscreen, but I'm not sure I like the idea of my train driver being dazzled on the approach to signals.
Thanks also for the link, Milo. Most of the problems to date have been with eye-safe l@sers. Sadly, some poor sod is going to end up with permanent eye damage as more of the high-power versions are imported via the net. However, police in Lancs (I think) recently did someone for importing them, as they are not legal here.
Bottom line, mil or civilian, you need to report any and all l@ser attacks, otherwise the scale of the problem will not be apparent to those thinking about beefing up the law. Same advice has gone to the police and MOD from the CAA - it seems it is a regular (daily) event for police helicopters, and most military events were not being reported in parallel to the CAA (but will be now...).