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[email protected] & searchlight attacks on aircraft (incl prison sentences on offenders)

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[email protected] & searchlight attacks on aircraft (incl prison sentences on offenders)

Old 23rd Dec 2008, 08:11
  #101 (permalink)  
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About time too / fantastic idea ( Though I say so myself )

Coconutty is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2008, 16:00
  #102 (permalink)  
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I have just read a report of a RAF SAR helo being illuminated by a guy with a [email protected] a few weeks ago. Appears that the chap then jumped into a car but the RAF helo followed him and managed to talk the police into intercepting him whilst he still had the [email protected] One down!
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Old 24th Dec 2008, 10:42
  #103 (permalink)  
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SARH now have a tetra fit I believe!
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Old 24th Dec 2008, 11:42
  #104 (permalink)  
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The RAF Seaking was returning from a mountain rescue with the casualty on board when the crew were lazered. Casualty dropped off and aircraft return to scene of crime. The police were summoned by MRT radio, who promptly responded whilst the Seaking hovered over the shop where they last saw the [email protected] This chap is now going to court in Feb 09. Job done
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Old 24th Dec 2008, 16:58
  #105 (permalink)  
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I just noticed TipWeight's post on the first page of this thread, regarding an instructor getting blinded by a green [email protected] near ABZ and the student having to take control.

Absolutely true. I was the student during my CPL course. The green light seemed to pervade all of the scratches in the canopy and cause lots of beams to bounce around inside. Double whammy - neither eyes nor canopy are on your side when this happens.

I was fortunate to be able to look away and take over (entirely on instruments) immediately. Believe me, I have lots of weaknesses as a pilot, but luckily my instructor had recently told me I was one of the best students he'd come across when it came to flying on instruments and limited panel.

Unbelievably, on that same flight, whilst flying our way back to Peterculter, some idiot with a Landrover shone a very powerful spotlight at us. I believe he was taking part in a hobby known as "Lamping". We really felt like landing to show him an alternate use of the word. Good luck to him getting his Defender serviced if LR go under! ;-)

Last year I was at an astronomy evening and had the opportunity to let the green [email protected] users that the hazard to pilots (which they were sceptical about) was real - from the horse's mouth as it were.

Then just two nights ago I was out for a drink in the local pub when the son of some people we were with started shining a green [email protected] around. I had a serious chat with his mother (I was keen to know why the hell he had the thing at all) with the result that it has been confiscated. She was oblivious to the danger to pilots, and that some folks have been jailed.
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Old 25th Dec 2008, 18:28
  #106 (permalink)  
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The RAF SeaKing was returning from a boat rescue having already dropped the injured crewman off at hospital when the crew were lazered. The culprit was located and confirmed using the FLIR camera then followed. The Police were summoned via a phone patch to the nearest officer’s mobile phone on Marine Band VHF (FM) courtesy of the Coast Guard. The officer was successfully ‘talked onto’ the culprit who, by this time, had parked up and walked to the entrance of a nearby shop. The officer apprehended the culprit and found said [email protected] during a search.
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Old 25th Dec 2008, 21:16
  #107 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the info rasyob - that ties in more with what I read than the description from britinusa - he of course may be talking about a separate event - you just don't know how often these things are happening these days.
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Old 25th Dec 2008, 23:14
  #108 (permalink)  
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The incident that I was describing took place in November, in Ft William near Corpach. I have been out of the country for 5 weeks, so I would not have heard of the one described by easyob. The incident I have described happened to me, I was on that RAF Seaking.
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Old 2nd Jan 2009, 09:27
  #109 (permalink)  
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Good for the CAA. Just in time to make Rescue Flare [email protected] illegal.
Why do you believe that any authority would attempt to influence legislators to make a safe by design, safety device illegal?
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Old 2nd Jan 2009, 17:21
  #110 (permalink)  
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I'm just guessing (based on my experience with government entities) that they will forget [email protected] flares and just ban [email protected] pointers. The US government has a specific exemption for [email protected] flares:

IN GENERAL- An individual who interferes with, or attempts to interfere with, the ability of the flight crew of an aircraft in flight to see, or otherwise to impair the safe operation of an aircraft in flight, by illuminating the aircraft with a [email protected] pointer or similar device shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

EXCEPTIONS- Subsection (a) does not apply to the illumination of aircraft by [email protected] or other devices by--
by an individual using a [email protected] emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal.
MarcK is online now  
Old 2nd Jan 2009, 19:03
  #111 (permalink)  
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There's a big difference in a [email protected] being shone at an aircraft by someone in a survival situation and those being shone by some good-for-nothing plonker with nothing better on his mind.

I'd suggest the survivor wants to be found as soon as possible; the searching aircraft generally wants to do the same and may well be expecting a pointer to be shone. It's unlikely that, once the survivor has alerted the aircraft, and received acknowledgement by landing light, circling overhead etc., that he's going to continue to annoy the aircraft by persistent illumination - he is likely, one hopes, to have had some form of instruction in survival and/or the use of such an aid when pointing it at an aircraft.

Considering how difficult it is to see a lifejacket light in a dark sea, or bobbing orange jacket by day, if I'm trying to save a life before running out of fuel, I'd much rather be searching for someone with a [email protected] device (and who knows how to use it) for the benefit of all concerned.

It sounds like the US Government has got it right . . . for once!
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Old 9th Apr 2009, 16:05
  #112 (permalink)  
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Police fight back on laser threat

Police fight back on [email protected] threat

By Tom Symonds
Transport Correspondent, BBC News

Tom Symonds flies in an anti-laser police helicopter - report contains images of flashing [email protected]

There has been a "phenomenal" increase in the number of incidents in which aircraft are targeted by small hand-held [email protected], according to UK police.
In 2008, there were 69 times as many such incidents as in 2003.
The Civil Aviation Authority has set up a task force to respond to the threat of pilots becoming disorientated.
The police have new devices designed to record and analyse [email protected] "strikes" on their aircraft, tracking their source and leading to arrests of attackers.
The BBC gained exclusive access to an exercise trialling these [email protected] Event Recorders carried out by the air support unit of Greater Manchester Police.
Direct hit

In the cockpit the light can be blinding

"We had one yesterday," said veteran police helicopter pilot Mike Briggs. "You're in no doubt when you've been targeted by one of these [email protected]"
An "attack" can come from any of the darkened streets over which the force's state of the art helicopter India 99 flies at night.
"You can't miss it. A sharp green beam of light shoots up from the ground, flashing around the helicopter, dazzling anyone on whom it scores a 'direct hit'," said Mr Briggs.
The police have had to learn to deal with the attacks - about half of those reported are aimed at their helicopters. In 2003 just three incidents were recorded. Last year there were 207. So far this year, the tally is 76.
The culprits are usually bored youths, who have got hold of a [email protected] pointer and amuse themselves by playing its beam over passing aircraft.
But from now on they are far more likely to get caught, and get sent to prison.
The Greater Manchester Police air support unit arranged an exercise for the BBC to show how their response has been stepped up.


1 Police helicopter is targeted by [email protected] pointer on the ground
2 Helicopter crew use hand-held [email protected] Event Recorder to locate pointer. It records wavelength to match beam to pointer - like matching bullet to a gun
3 GPS details enable helicopter's thermal image camera to find suspect and police patrol on ground is directed to address

After informing air traffic control and local police stations we lift off from the police helipad at Barton aerodrome and head for Bolton.
In a residential back garden there is an officer waiting with a cheap [email protected] pointer. We've agreed not to reveal where he bought it, but its beam is incredibly powerful.
As the helicopter flies by he switches it on, and aims for our windows. Inside the aircraft the light flickers eerily between the three crew members.
When it is right in your eyes, you simply can't see anything else. We are 1,200ft (365m) up, but the beam is strong and sharp.
If we were within 500ft there would be a real possibility of eye damage, but at our altitude the risk is of distraction and disorientation - not helpful when flying a helicopter.
The police also say it stops them concentrating on the job in hand, often a car pursuit on the ground with busy radio traffic.
But India 99's rear observer now has a secret weapon.
Eye in the sky
The Event Recorder logs everything

The [email protected] Event Recorder not only takes a picture of the attack and logs where it came from using GPS, but also analyses the wavelength of the [email protected] being used.
It can also warn the police if the [email protected] is powerful enough or close enough to cause physical damage to the eyes.
This can be compared with the specifications of the device used in the attack, providing vital new evidence. "It's a little bit like matching a bullet to a gun," said Mr Briggs.
We turn in the sky and circle the house of the "suspect", with two observers on board to track him.
The rear observer has two large screens, one showing the image from the aircraft's camera, the other a moving map.
The camera uses thermal imaging to clearly show people and warm objects standing in gardens or on open ground. Even when the warm [email protected] pointer is thrown into a bush it can often be seen from the air.
The rear observer can zoom in to show a glowing image of an offender, and then look at the moving map, where a cursor shows the spot on which the camera is focused.
The "offender" outline appears full screen and we watch as he tries to throw the pointer away. A dog team is called in and an arrest made.
Guided by the eye in the sky, the ground officers easily find the [email protected] The suspect may try to claim it hasn't been used, but it is still warm, and the police have the evidence of its wavelength from the [email protected] Event Recorder.
Not toys
Thermal imaging helps catch the culprits

Police currently have to prove a suspect recklessly or negligently endangered an aircraft. The Civil Aviation Authority is drawing up new laws of the air under which it will simply be an offence to shine a [email protected] at an aircraft.
Many offenders regard what they've done as a prank, but a jail term for a first offence is now common.
Bob Jones, head of flight operations at the CAA, said: "To those individuals targeting aircraft with [email protected] devices the message is clear - don't. You will be caught and you will be prosecuted and you could spend up to five years in prison. These things are not toys, they pose a serious risk to all flight safety."
And the police insist they won't be turning a "blind eye" when they're attacked from the ground.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Police fight back on [email protected] threat

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 9th Apr 2009 at 22:55. Reason: Add text as quote
HOGE is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2009, 09:25
  #113 (permalink)  
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very interesting reading
it was also interesting reading last months ocurance reports for the month just how many incidents with [email protected] are now occuring fair play to the police and CAA having been on the end of a similar incident, its time the scrots got some hard policing, the job can be hard enough with out further disruption.
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Old 7th May 2009, 09:13
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: UK
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Lasers have individual signature


One of the issues raised at yesterdays UKFSC may be of interest:

It was reported that the number of [email protected] shining occurrences in the UK is increasing exponentially. Over 136 so far this year. The majority have been directed at Police helicopters, but a significant number have also been directed at FW commercial traffic. It was advised that if you are subject to a [email protected] or bright light that you should report it immediately (in flight) to ATC. The police can then be alerted to meet you on arrival and there have been a number of successful arrests and prosecutions resulting from swift reporting by aircrews. Of note one police force now has equipment onboard it's helos that can fingerprint a [email protected] signature (apparently they are all unique!), which enables them to prosecute when they find someone in possession of a [email protected] that matches the signature. So report all occurrences immediately wherever you may be.
Now thats interesting.

Ikoyian is offline  
Old 7th May 2009, 09:44
  #115 (permalink)  
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CAA Guidance

As well as reporting the incident in flight to ATC, and liaising with local plod after landing,
don't forget the CAA requirement to complete an MOR ( Mandatory Occurrence Report )


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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 14:02
  #116 (permalink)  
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Laserattack on police helicopter in germany

Hi all,
it´s not only happening in GB.
Last weekend a police helicopter, on the way to a search, was also targeted by a green [email protected]
After the original mission the helicopter flew to the recorded position and was again targeted by a green [email protected] Groundforces then found the [email protected] an d the man, who used it, at an garden party.
Further investigations are running before the case goes to court.
One pilot had eye-problems while the co-pilot, who tried to identify the house at the moment, the [email protected] started, was disorientated for some seconds.

Greetings Flying Bull
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Old 16th Jul 2009, 09:22
  #117 (permalink)  
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And another one bites the dust

Jail for student who 'blinded' pilot

14 July 2009
By Jeni Harvey

A POLICE helicopter pilot was left flying blind after he was dazzled by a [email protected] beam as he flew over a South Yorkshire suburb.

And now bakery student Majid Khan, 24, has been jailed after he was captured on film aiming a powerful [email protected] pen at the aircraft.

Sheffield Crown Court was told that Khan, a convicted robber from the Sharrow area of Sheffield, flooded the cockpit with green light, dazzling the co-pilot and preventing the pilot from reading the controls. Judge Robert Lawler QC told him the offence was so serious only an immediate custodial sentence could be passed.

Jailing him for six months, he told Khan: "These matters are serious and there is potential danger when aircraft are operating overhead in populated areas.

"For some reason you thought it was 'cool' to do what you did."

After being dazzled by the [email protected] pen, the airborne officers used thermal-imaging equipment to trace Khan.

He was then arrested by officers near his home. When they told him they had recorded him on CCTV shining the pen at the helicopter, he agreed his house could be searched and, once inside, handed over the [email protected]

He later admitted recklessly endangering an aircraft.

Khan was jailed for four years in 2006 after he cruised around Sheffield in a car looking for victims to threaten with a baseball bat. He was on licence from jail when he committed the [email protected] offence last November.
Yorkshire Post
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 14:30
  #118 (permalink)  
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Laser attack on helicopter

A man has appeared in court accused of shining a [email protected] pen at a police helicopter.

Sean Donald Holt, 22, of West Avenue, Golborne, appeared at Wigan Magistrates' Court charged with recklessly acting in a manner likely to endanger a police helicopter.

He spoke only to confirm his name and was dressed in a white T-shirt and blue tracksuit bottoms.

It is alleged that he shone a bright [email protected] pen at a police helicopter, causing disruption and potentially impairing vision, on May 22.

He was released on bail and will enter his plea when he appears at Liverpool Crown Court on August 17.
Laser attack on helicopter - Wigan Today
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Old 12th Aug 2009, 21:26
  #119 (permalink)  
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Liverpool Echo.co.uk - News - Liverpool Local News - Liverpool youth arrested after allegedly shining a [email protected] pen into a helicopter

Next!! This is just one of a few attacks recently.

A BOY was arrested after allegedly shining a [email protected] pen into the cockpit of a police helicopter.
The youth, 15, was apprehended by officers after they searched a house near Allerton Road.
The Merseyside Police helicopter was carrying out a routine patrol when the pilot was suddenly disturbed by a potentially-blinding [email protected]
The light was shone directly into the aircraft from a property at around 4.30am on Sunday, August 2.
The pilot, who was flying at a low height, was able to pinpoint the exact house the [email protected] was beaming from.
A message was relayed to officers on the ground who entered an address, near the centre of Allerton, and discovered a group of boys and one man.
Four boys, all 15, were arrested, along with one man, 18, and were taken into custody for questioning.
One of the youths, who cannot be named due to his age, was subsequently charged with recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft
He is set to appear before a city youth court.
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Old 18th Aug 2009, 07:56
  #120 (permalink)  
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Further to post 120:- you also get a piture of this fine youth! I dpnt know what the relavance of "who has tattoos on his arm and neck" but I supose it set the scene.

Laser pen yob faces jail - Wigan Today

Published Date: 18 August 2009
A WIGAN man is facing jail after admitting he endangered a police helicopter by flashing a [email protected] pen at it.

Sean Holt was warned to expect custody after he pleaded guilty to risking those inside the aircraft.
The 22-year-old was outside his home on the evening of May 21 this year when he committed the offence.
He flashed the [email protected] pen illuminating the inside of the cockpit but the crew were able to pinpoint his location.
The information was relayed to colleagues on the ground and officers went to his home.
They found him with the [email protected] pen and when arrested admitted his responsibility. He was later interviewed and again accepted his guilt.
Shaven-headed Holt, who has tattoos on his arm and neck, appeared before Liverpool Crown Court yesterday (tues).
Holt, of West Avenue, Golborne, pleaded guilty to recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft.
The Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Henry Globe QC told him: "You have pleaded guilty to an offence which is coming before the courts with increasing regularity.
"It is a serious offence. You must understand the likelihood is that the court will pass a custodial sentence.
"In granting you bail that is no indication of what the sentence will be. All options remain open, including that custodial sentence."
Holt was granted bail until September 11 when he will be sentenced.
Police said they would not comment on the case until after Holt had been sentenced but they have been known in the past to take a dim view of those who think it a lark to use [email protected] pens to interfere with their work.
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