This l@ser problem, with powerful kit in the hands of idiots ( terrorists is a whole different ball game ) is obviously a problem which if we - I say we as SLF / someone possibly underneath/ concerned anyway - will be lucky if there is not a serious accident before it stops.
Seems to me, while tracing gits who 've bought the things recently may be relatively easy, that doesn't really sort it; only thing I can think of is a hand-in amnesty, with a high enough reward to make it worth their while.
Might be nauseating paying the idiots, but I reckon £ will be the only thing to appeal to them - or their relatives / chums - a warning campaign would only glamourise it, bring in more berks, and worry the public.
Hi..slf here... I used to rollerblade along Benidorm seafront years ago..(reckon around 15 yrs ago)..it was a nightly excercise,usually after 10 pm in the winter time,when there were no crowds.. Anyways,i remember the terror i felt when i was followed by a red dot,not knowing it must have been some childish tw*t in one of the apartment bulidings playing with a l@ser,but was convinced it was a sniper aiming to pop me off. Truth be known,they were probably having a right laugh at my expense,as i tried to dodge it,and eventualy hid in a doorway. I really think that the offenders know exactly what they are doing,it falls into the same catagory as lobbing a lump of concrete off a motorway bridge,just to see if they can "miss".??? the vehicle passing underneath. I say prosecute,and no less than a prison sentence for endangering an airline,it's crew and passengers.
somewhere near Cheadle and then once from the Buxton area
Cheadle is right under short final for 23R, but Buxton is much further out, so you'd still be considerably higher there ! My practice is quite close to Buxton . . . . . but it wasn't me, guv - - honest ! !
I just read on the Eurofighter website that the "Head Equipment Assembly" is equipped with an anti-l@zer visor. Something to do with l@zer targeting systems potentially shining in the eyes of the pilot. Is there any way that this kind of anti l@zer technology can be retro-fit into the already multi-layered aircraft windshields?
There seems to be no realistic way of stopping people from endangering aircraft in this way so why not make them l@ser proof from this angle? Has this ever been tried?
The LH aircraft in front of my 737 on approach to Hamburg runway 23 a few weeks ago reported a l@ser being shone at him. I was somewhat taken aback when the tower asked me if I would look out and try and spot it.
He wasn't joking as he asked me after landing if I saw anything. I would have prefered if he had said something more sensible like, caution a l@ser has been reported by previous aircraft, report if anything seen.
Is there any way that this kind of anti-l@zer technology can be retro-fitted into the already multi-layered aircraft windshields?
Obviously a very attractive idea if it were practicable, and affordable.
BALPA members will see in the latest edition of its magazine (Oct/Nov 2008) there is an interesting article about the whole subject of l@zer hazards to flights. One paragraph in the article reads :
Technologies are available to mitigate the effects of l@zers, but are cumbersome, do not provide full-spectrum protection, and are unlikely to be installed on airline flight decks in the foreseeable future
Military goggles are specified to cut out wavelengths that are known to be in use by nearby friends (or known enemies). The same goes for medical goggles - they cut out the wavelength that is known to be in use.
As noted above, dye-based club/pointer/hobby l@sers have so many frequencies available that filters can't guarantee protection. This is especially true if someone truly twisted uses a non-standard wavelength, so to fall outside standard filters.
Green 532-nm is the most common powerful l@ser, and you can get decent protection for $200 or so. For a bright source, you should still see some green light, but it would be attenuated below a dangerous brightness.
However, note that LED/LCD displays and warning lights can emit a reasonably narrow wavelength range, and so protection goggles (unlike most sunglasses) could affect perception. As a result, there could be unforeseen safety consequences from donning 532-nm blocking lenses in the cockpit.
Pointers are in the milliWatt range. Disco l@zers are in the Watt range. All are distracting if shone into your eyes, and disco l@zers could be damaging.
However, even with a launch telescope, it is unlikely that enough light from a disco l@zer would make it into your eye to do any lasting damage. I believe the danger is from distraction.
The eye tends to steer automatically to a bright light, which exacerbates dazzle and helps to wipe out the most sensitive patch of your vision. Knowledge of this effect is some protection, as a conscious effort to look away will help.
A series of shots from a cheap digital camera out of your window might allow the authorities to work out quite accurately where the l@zer's coming from, by comparison with other lights, even if it does sounds a bit like the CBS show `Numbers'. Without pictures, it'd be tough to get a position, unless the perpetrating MOOC decides to continue to light up the police helicopter until friends on the ground arrive (as previous posts report can happen).
Does anybody on this thread have any reliable figures?
Looking at the sun for more than an instant, even with the iris of the eye closed to the maximum, can do retinal damage. Doing so through binoculars is almost certainly to do such damage.
l@ser pointers, of the type used in a lecture hall, are "class I", and can momentarily dazzle you if shone right into your eyes in the semi-dark from close-up, but are otherwise pretty harmless. If one was pointed at an aircraft from a mile away, you would probably not even notice it.
Here we are talking about 'disco' l@sers. The stuff that's used for disco shows, l@ser light shows, etc. For sale on eBay and suchlike to all and sundry. Now we're talking 300 mW and more.
I take it it's already a given, that looking directly into a 300mW l@ser beam from a mile away, even quite briefly, is enough to totally dazzle you, and make you see stars and splotches for minutes afterwards. Not quite what you want to see when you're flying an aircraft. Even without looking directly into the beam, the effect is totally distracting, and may be enough to destroy your night vision, when, again, your iris is already fully open.
But my strictly personal question for the moment is: are there any records about permanent retinal damage at the power levels we're talking about?
Not trying to minimise the matter.... rather the contrary!
It's not just the potential blindness that is the problem. You also have to consider the distractional value of such a device. Typically, these l@sers are shone at aircraft operating closer to the ground - the time when we are changing speed, configuration and being steered clear of other traffic and obstacles. These devices make it more likely to for crew to make an error. If just for that the little gits who shine these things at people need their nuts removing.
In the UK this will probably be dealt with just as pathetically as mobile phone use when driving...
1) Wait 3 years after the problem becomes acknowledged by the general public.. 2) Parliament wakes up 3 years too late and then spends another year prattling about it.. 3) Finally get some legislation in place 4 years too late 4) Then the Police Force declare a 6 month amnesty '...until the driving public get used to the idea' (probably illegal actually, a law is a law!) 5) End Result... nobody takes it at all seriously, esp. power-suited dodgem dames on the way to their date after work; White van men; Mums doing the school run with umpteen kiddies in the back of tinted window SUVs; Yardies doing their drug-runs (cut and shut BMWs usually)... etc
Bet that's the timescale and nett effect in this case too... zilch!
PS.Nos 1 & 4 were shameful - sent totally the wrong message!