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L@ser attacks

Old 9th Apr 2008, 08:31
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L@ser attacks

Summary of incident: An aircraft on departure ex-Moscow Domodedovo was targetted by a green laser at a point approximately 5nm prior to Vinli, and approximately 14,000ft. The laser tracked into Captains left eye, leading to momentary dazzling and some discomfort. Captain recovered, and continued flight as P1 in pilot-not-handling role due residual blurring in left eye.

Unable to make Moscow ATC understand the nature of the problem, therefore all-stations broadcast made on 121.5 to advise following aircraft of the threat.

Edited by Rumours and News Moderators:

This was originally a post which consisted solely of the text of an ASR; such is unacceptable. As this is a serious incident, part of an increasing trend as regular readers of these forums will know, it has been edited and re-posted by the moderators, following debate and after contact with the operating Captain, who is back flying following a specialist eye examination.

What is perhaps most interesting about this incident is the altitude it occurred at, significantly higher than most of the previous incidents.
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 09:15
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There is a company out there selling seriously powerful hand held lasers, granted they do cost quite a bit of money but they do burn. Here is a clip from youtube showing one of the lasers from a few clicks away. Be worried!!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=0rmpvgJOKF8&feature=related
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 09:20
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Here's really hoping that this kind of behaviour does not become de rigueur among the bored kids of Eastern Europe/Russia. Thanks for the warning, for what it's worth! Has anyone ever noticed something that looks like a laser without looking into it, i.e. are they identifiable as lasers before any damage is done? Any experience out there?
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 09:23
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Posted simultaneously, Died. There's my answer. Powerful!
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 09:35
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It scares the hell out of me as these kids are posting on youtube the power in these things, i.e. bursting balloons, igniting matches, cutting different materials. Whats even worse is this company are carrying on creating more powerful lasers , at the moment they have blue lasers, powers of these lasers are from 1000mW to 7000mW. The prices for 457nm lasers are not low but they are battery powered hand held.
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 09:44
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http://youtube.com/watch?v=bRkufG5kR5A&feature=related

A demo of the power of these things.
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 10:04
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Heard about a similar incidents in Sydney on the news. At least they busted one of those kids.

I am just surprised how a bored kid can possibly aim exactly at the windscreen of an approaching aircraft, representing a very small moving target.
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 10:27
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This kind of stuff has been going on for years. AFAIR, some years ago a pilot into Vegas was temporarily blinded.

The difference is that these devices have become more powerful as well as cheaper.

What has not changed is that no one in public seems to have the slightest idea what one can do about it. I suspect the military might have an idea, since they have been thinking about laser weaponry and defence for some decades now. However, it is not clear that they or their political masters would want to put effective defence measures in the public domain for use in the occasional civilian incident.

PBL
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Old 9th Apr 2008, 10:50
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Avionero

A bored kid can point one of these in your direction in the same way that a bored policeman can point his speedgun in your general direction and expect a result.

Even a laser beam diverges (so even if the central beam is still quite narrow, the visible entire beam and "splash" is perhaps metres wide at the sort of range we are discussing).

Because the Moscow atmospherics were helpful to the miscreant in guiding his beam through the crud to the aircraft, I imagine it would be quite easy to get a flash across an aircraft windshield, and maybe even hold it longer than would be comfortable for you if you happened to be looking in his direction.
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Old 17th May 2008, 05:14
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I recommend a quick read through the comments posted about that Youtube video Mercenary Pilot posted a link to--sobering and frightening.

The company that posted the video (and sells the lasers) clearly doesn't care what they're used for and kids are openly egging each other on to aim them at cars, planes etc. One is even encouraged to smuggle one past Australian customs to circumvent a crackdown following an incident recently with a police helicopter.

When somebody dies because of a laser blinding incident, "Dragonlasers" should be held criminally responsible...but I bet they won't be.

Bob
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Old 17th May 2008, 12:35
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I have (forwarded) copies of some emails from the company quoted (aparently they were sent the details about the original incident); they will NOT add "Do not point at aircraft" warnings to YouTube or their website.

Thank you for your suggestions, but I do not think its useful.

Lasers get diverged quickly by distance, the laser beam dot become roughly 1.5mm wider after every meters, so in 1000 meters away, a laser beam dot is roughly 1500mm in diameter, it is completely safe to eyes no matter how powerful the laser is, the laser beam dot is too huge.

2 kilometers away a laser beam dot is as wide as 3 meters, and so on.

A laser beam is just dangerous to eyes when it is concentrated to a very small spot.

Fly safe, its not necessary to worry about lasers when you are flying ☺

Best Regards

Sales Department
www.dragonlasers.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Then I have nothing to say, in 500 meters range, they could also use guns.

Another reason, lasers in disco and clubs, they are also very powerful, the reason it does not hurt human eyes is that the laser beam moves quickly.

Point a laser from about 100 meters away to a flying pilot, it will just flash eyes but it will not cause damage, and I believe that its impossible to aim.

Best Regards

Sales Department
www.dragonlasers.com
Legislation needed I think - the company is in ChangChun, China, so no hope of changing things there!
 
Old 17th May 2008, 19:33
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First off, I don't want to take away from the seriousness of the incidents covered here, nor instigate (too much) thread creep.

Summary of incident: An aircraft on departure ex-Moscow Domodedovo was targetted by a green laser at a point approximately 5nm prior to Vinli, and approximately 14,000ft. The laser tracked into Captains left eye, leading to momentary dazzling and some discomfort. Captain recovered, and continued flight as P1 in pilot-not-handling role due residual blurring in left eye.
Has anyone tried to work out the geometry and/or physics involved here? Given the height of the aircraft, the position of the captain in relation to the windows, the fact that the laser would have been pointed from a location (presumably) on the ground diagonally upwards towards the point of contact of the beam with the pilots eye and taking into account the speed of the aircraft across the ground and (presumably) it's rate of climb.

I'm no laser expert, but I assume (and indeed hope) that the kind of device that can pump out enough focused energy to "flash" you at well over 3 miles through the atmosphere and cause "momentary dazzling and some discomfort" with "residual blurring" isn't readily available at your local lasers'r'us.com.

JAS
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Old 17th May 2008, 19:40
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This is worth a read..

"The Effects of Laser illumination on Operational and Visual Performance of Pilots During Final Approach"

http://www.faa.gov/library/reports/m...media/0409.pdf

It says that "illumination of flight crewmembers with laser radiation > 0.5uW/cm^2 is unacceptable"

Someone check my sums but....

A 500mW output laser spread over a 1 meter diameter spot would be around 64uW/cm^2. Thats 128 times the acceptable level.

Spread over a 1.5m diameter spot it's still around 28uW/cm^2 or 56 times the acceptable level.

If the spot diameter is 3m (see previous posts) the max acceptable power of the laser works out at just 35mW.

So if those spot diameters are achievable at the required range (see earlier posts) it would appear easy for the recommended max exposure of 0.5uW/Cm^2 to be exceeded.

I've ignored absorbtion by the air.
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Old 18th May 2008, 16:03
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Personally I’m not so convinced ‘ bored rich kids’ are responsible – P.I.L ‘ Pilot Incapacitation Lasers ’ have been around since the 1980’s, - indeed the’ Flasher’ was fitted to some of our ships in the Falklands War, though not officially used and later removed as part of the Geneva Convention.

I must say, if I was in command of a warship under attack I’d use everything available…

I worked with laser designators on a test range which had a “ blinding range of 9 miles ” – that was quite a few years ago now.

The resident expert had taken an accidental laser hit in an eye, and described it as “ unbearable pain, as if his eyeball was exploding ” – leading to permanent blindness on that side.

In my job recording the laser ‘splash’ on target – so a little uncomfortably close – on the first sortie I was given full goggles covered with sensors which were supposed to shriek & black out the lenses if I took a hit; when I asked “ how do they work faster than light then ? ” I was met with a shrug…

On later trials I was issued with what looked like fancy sunglasses for the same purpose, which I fervently hoped were tuned to the same frequency as the laser !

With that proviso in mind, such ‘sunglasses’ might be required kit for even civilian pilots ?
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Old 14th Jun 2008, 18:15
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I was operating from edinburgh that night to stansted. Now whilst i didn't see any lasers either on departure or approach to edinburgh that night, the STN ATIS was reporting laser beams sighted at approx 7 DME from the threshold. 2 airports in the same night at approximately the same time.


One Other thing. Show's my childish nature i know but all i've been able to think since i heard this story was, were it angry sea bass with frickin' laser beams attached to them??

Last edited by cortilla; 14th Jun 2008 at 18:27.
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Old 14th Jun 2008, 18:32
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Barke

What kind of laser?? Could it be from a club? Or a little handheld one?
Guys be afraid, be very afraid. There is a company in China selling 'little hand held lasers that will literally cut you in half. Start looking here.

Dragon Lasers

Then look at one of the current more powerful ones here

Bloody Madness!

Then to see what the current youth of today are up to, please go to you tube,(or google will direct you) and type in 'Dragon Lasers' to see how todays youth like to use these 'toys' (potential WMD).

There is no reason for anybody other than a scientist to buy these things, they should be under licence, yet as you will read on the comments on You Tube after watching the vids, they seem to be on the Hoodie of todays christmas list.

Shocking!!
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Old 14th Jun 2008, 20:18
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Barke
The only consolation at present is that if these lasers are used from a distance the beam will diverge significantly enough to ensure permenant damage is not done to the eyes, however there have been instances of temparory disorientation. The problem is that they are producing 600W lasers in a housing the size of a medium Maglite. What will they be producing in another two years?
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Old 14th Jun 2008, 23:29
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Oh great IFR approaches with LASER goggles on---


I hope the attempt this with an A-10 pilot-so he can just zap the little M***s with a 50 Cal--before they blind a civilian flight crew and cause a terrible catastrophe with my Sweetheart aboard---I'll kill ya!!!




Lester!!!!
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Old 14th Jun 2008, 23:41
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They apparently are high powered jobs, not the little hand held pen ones. Quite a spate of these incidents here in Australia, ongoing. One group of teenagers was found so far ( given a slap on the wrist ) , but I agree the potential for terrorism is there. Some of the incidents here have emanated from suburbs where the population is > 75 % middle eastern.
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Old 15th Jun 2008, 00:14
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeMpdiDZ1iI

Probably one of those things.

Quite common in Manchester unfortunately.

Sam
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