1. Cockpit design is arranged to give pilots forward and lateral views of the ground, especially when the aircraft is on approach. How else do you think they land them?
2. You ask how these l@sers can be accurately aimed at aircraft? Ask the Chavs that do it!
3. The aircraft windscreen is most definitely NOT tinted and great trouble is taken in design to ensure they are as optically perfect as possible. What you are observing is a little refraction/reflection from the window heating film embedded in the multiple layers making up the cockpit windows.
Make the bloody things illegal, "using them for backyard astronomy?" my @rse!.
One or two ppruners seem to be missing the point (if you pardon the pun) here, there is an existing peice of legislation that already covers this offence.
Whether or not the fricking l@ser is shone into the cockpit, reflected from the windshield, refracted into the cockpit...the individual to$$er who engages in the act of shining the device commits the substantive offence under section 63 of the Air Navigation Order, namely recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft, or any person therein.
The critical part of this legislation that makes it particularly useful in terms of prosecuting these offenders is the fact that their actions do not have to actually produce a dangerous result, and the offender does not need to be on the aircraft to commit the offence. Additionally the actions do not need to be deliberate in terms of ultimate intention either - the legal concepts of recklessness or negligence negate any possible defence such as that pathetic mantra "I didn't know it was dangerous to use a l@ser..or I was looking for my dog....etc".
Those fools who think it is funny shining l@sers, powerful torches, fireworks etc at planes, regardless of their own idiotic perceptions can be arrested by police, charged and placed before the courts. The expert testimony of an aircraft captain who is prepared to stand up in the witness box and state that a l@ser distracted him from his core function of landing an a/c with lots of slf on board is highly likely to be damning and convincing evidence. Custodial sentences are available to the courts and can be used as punitive / deterrent measures. Whilst each case will be judged on individual merits, there is not a huge amount of legal precedent by which to gauge sentencing. Depending on the individual mode of trial (magistrates court or crown court), those found guilty could end up with a stretch behind bars. I don't think many in the judiciary take a light view of endangering a plane full of people.
The bottom line is simple - anyone with a bit of common sense can see the potential consequences of distracting a pilot at a crucial phase of flight such as landing or t/o. We do not need a debate on the relative strengths of different l@sers, or the legitimacy of their designed purposes. We need to take firm action against those individuals who effectively gamble with the safety of aircraft, those on board and those under the flightpath!
On a side issue, I was not surprised that the Home Office were not aware of the available legislation - the ANO is less mainstream legislation (for want of better terminology) and is more likely to fall within the business area of the DFT. The more cynical amongst us may surmise that the legislation was on a memory stick down the back of someones sofa...
Well they are for sale in the magazine that accompanies the BBC Tv programme "The sky at night" or what ever its called with Patrick Moore.
Although im not a pilot, i have had a l@ser pointer flashed at me while driving along the A14 at night...Not the nicest experiances for me or my passenger when i performed what was basically an emergency stop from 75mph.
I agree with an earlier poster, do the chav scum with attempted murder on however many counts according to the number of passengers/crew on the plane.
Hi All... I'm a very soon to be commercial pilot (only 1 exam and a flight test left WOOHOO!) and I'm only flying little things that these l@ser owner have no interest in but what I really want to know is what is it like to be in the cockpit of an aircraft targeted by these l@sers?
I mean how strong are they really and how much do they affect the vision? There have been quite a few of these attacks on the news in Australia and obviously the l@sers are stronger than the tiny one I use to play with my kitten but what's it like? Does it blind you? Does it refract through the whole windscreen/cockpit making any sort of vision impossible or can you see if you put your hand in the way of the l@ser (not that you want to land a jet with one hand but you know what I mean)?
I mean how strong are they really and how much do they affect the vision?
They're surprisingly strong. I saw one as pax when OS457 was targeted on approach to LHR 27L last night. Despite being side on, and thus being much harder to track the aircraft, the glare was incredible and although I experienced no visual sensation it was most uncomfortable. I can only imagine what it must be like seeing these things nose-on from the flight deck where it's easier for the muppets to aim.
(Un)fortunately, I (and I suspect most of the other passengers) got quite a good look at the location of the l@ser here.
Thanks, sounds interesting... and as you suggested not nice if you're up the front. Not something I expect to affect me much as I want to be an instructor flying Cessna 152's for the rest of my life but it's always good to know.
You ask how these l@sers can be accurately aimed at aircraft? Ask the Chavs that do it!
I suspect it's a bit like the pilot who gets his first mag light and shines it up the street to see if it lights up his neighbours house. The pikey probably bought the l@ser pen (or nicked it) and was looking for the furthest object away in his line of sight that he could light up. The fact it went into the pilots eyes was probably more chance than anything but as it's a continuous beam if he keeps waving it around in the general direction it's going to hit the target, a bit like when you are trying to hose shampoo off the dog when he's running round the garden...or is that just me ???
I've owned a l@ser pointer (it was a gift) and I own a couple of l@ser levels. The pointer has been thrown away, getting the dog to chase the little dot around the room was driving him nuts, but I still use the l@ser levels from time to time. The difference with these particular levels though is that they are designed to strike a straight line over a surface, they wont shine a concentrated dot into anyones eyes no matter how much you waft them round. I've no doubt they could be converted in some way or another to do so but it's probably well beyond the wit of your average Burberry wearer who just wants to light stuff up.
Surely it's not very difficult to legislate against the sale of devices that shine a concentrated l@ser dot as opposed to a l@ser line. Devices that shine a l@ser dot have no real practical pupose in general day to day use, even on a building sight and lecturers don't need to use one, they have managed perfectly well with normal pokey pointers in the past and they can continue to do so. If astronamers want to use them to line up their telescopes then let them apply for a licence to buy and use one, i'm sure they wouldn't be that put out by having to do so.
I am a Police Helicopter Pilot and really your (complainant/Target) only real means of bringing a prosecution against these idiots with the Green l@sers or indeed the Red l@sers also. I have suffered numerous attacks over the past ten years since leaving the military. We kind of ignore them most the time as we have a job to do but appreciate the fact that large fixed planks would have great difficulty in locating or indeed talking Police ground units onto the l@ser. Personally I believe in squirting the 10.5 million candle power torch at them. It works for us. So. It will normally happen during final approach and as soon as it does inform App/Twr of the attack (which I suggest could not be accidental as they tend to hit you on and off for 30 secs or more). They will register it as such and will inform the local Police, and all following aircraft into the airport. If you should be lucky enough to have a Police Helicopter Unit close by then the ATC will almost certainly inform them of the incident. It is not normal to deploy for a l@ser attack but they will "keep a close watch on the area" during normal tasks. That said a KLM on finals into EGNV last week was hit and during a return to base following a task, we managed to see the Green l@ser as he tried to light us up also. One arrested, l@ser confiscated as dangerous weapon, KLM crew interviewed and all paperwork completed within a few hours. Idiot appeared in court on Teesside Fri 22nd Aug. It can be dealt with but we need to know. Maybe the CAA could inform us quicker, post MOR. I doubt it but the local relationship of the ATC and Police crews is very good and is no doubt your best option. ie. 4 miles on final 23 right side by 2 miles etc. easy.
Since in this case they did confiscate the l@zer, can you get any information on the type?
I think there's a huge confusion.
There are l@zer "pens" (Class I, up to 1mW) which are useful during lectures (they replace the old flashlight pointers, which projected a little arrow) or, according to one informed amateur astronomer poster on her, can be used for lining up a telescope. They're about as 'dangerous' as a flash-light (think MagLights), and will just dazzle you momentarily from a few metres away. You probably wouldn't even see them from an aircraft, since the optics aren't that good.
There are the l@sers used on building sites, as mentioned earlier. Apart from the l@zer 'levels' (which project a line), there are others which allow you to get an accurate alignment over a few hundred metres. They're slightly more powerful, but still pretty useless for "lighting up" an aircraft.
Then there's the "big stuff" such as used for l@ser light shows, etc. There we're talking about something like 30mW to 300mW: look at the eBay item mentioned earlier. Unfortunately those seem to be readily available, and are used as "toys" by chavs, etc. to put spectacular videos on YouTube of burning through chair legs... and also for these "l@ser attacks" on aircraft.
So, Biffer, any chance of clarifying this by giving us an idea of what we're really looking at? And I would bet it's not a l@zer "pen".
Had a reply from the Home Office, Offensive Weapons Section, advising me that they are keeping the subject under review. If injury caused by a l@zer pointer then prosecution is possible under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 with maximum penalty of 5 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both. Annoyance is covered under the Public Order Act 1986 with a max penalty of a £1000 fine. The fine for selling these is covered under the General Products Safety Regulations 1994 with max penalty of 3 months imprisonment or a £5000 fine or both. (This also covers Class 3a and Class 4 l@zers as defined by EU law in 9 BS EN 60825 part 1 1994) Trading Standards across the UK have been urged to use their powers under the latter act to remove such articles from sale. I have replied indicating that imports from abroad are still a threat and any review should include discussion with the CAA and BALPA. I have also indicated that the penalties in other countries are much more severe than those in the UK and that we should follow the example set elsewhere.
It's not just L@sER's that these muppets use, try landing on 27R at LHR on the run up to Nov 5th. Just short of the Q carpark there is a small patch of open ground that the 'Chavs' use as a Ground to Air missile launching pad.
Have to give them their due, they should be sent to the Army, they are getting quite good! Nothing wakes you up on short finals like a rocket bouncing off the underside of the cockpit.
They have also been using their 'L@ser pointers' recently. What do these idiots need with a l@zer pointer anyway? Mugging power point presentations anyone???
As a previous helicopter pilot I have also been illuminated in the past and it can be extremely distracting and therefore dangerous. If we can slam people in jail for talking on their mobiles in their cars and being distracted, surely we can come up with a suitable charge for this?
Gotta love it, back when I was a kid we had no nintendo, internet, computers, games consoles, mobile phones, l@zer pointers, 24 hour rubbish TV (only 3 channels) etc. etc. etc. We made it through the day. Now the 'stock' excuse for these idiots is 'we're only doin it 'cause we're bored Guv, t'aint nowt to do round here' .. Bullsh*t.