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Virgin Atlantic flight from London to NY returns after pilot hurt in laser incident

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Virgin Atlantic flight from London to NY returns after pilot hurt in laser incident

Old 15th Feb 2016, 21:23
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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GOULI
After an incident has happened and been resolved, it is only right to consider if a better course of action could have been pursued.
Indeed. And such considerations are always made - by those who are able and qualified to do so.
As you have amply demonstrated today you are not equipped to make those judgements.
It really is time that you left here and moved back to the Spotters Corner where you can converse with equals.
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Old 15th Feb 2016, 21:31
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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<I was lasered recently at 7000' near MAN.>

<Can you provide any independent cites for this? I'm just baulking a little bit at the marksmanship required to target an aeroplane's cockpit windows from a range of several miles and would like some confirmation that it actually happens (and with what equipment).?

Drawing on my amateur astronomy experience, not as hard as you think. Unlike when firing a projectile at an aircraft, you don't have to lead as the "projectile" is moving at the speed of light.

If you consider a plane at 8000 feet moving at 270 knots (pulled that from Flight tracker) max slew rate is 3 degrees a second.

They simply point it at the pointy end and can track with ease. Idiots should be pulled through with a Christmas Tree...
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Old 15th Feb 2016, 21:32
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by G0ULI
I do indeed tell my surgeons what course of treatment I want and have been fortunate to be able to select those best suited to my needs. Dentists likewise.
I am glad you appreciated (and hopefully appear to have been educated in) the somewhat basic insight of crew decision making.

But I have to question your wisdom of the above.


Surgeons and doctors and dentists know more about their field than I ever will, I wouldn't dream of telling one of them how to do their job or turn up telling them what treatment I want (unless things had been discussed and they had presented more than one option).

In the same way I wouldn't expect them to tell me how to do my job or what decisions to make (the exception being if I there was a serious medical issue with someone on board my flight, in which case I would have invited any experienced medical professional on board to make such calls with precedence over operational factors)
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Old 15th Feb 2016, 21:44
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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Just for the record

Attacked by a green laser at about 3000 ft just as we locked onto the 26ILS at Gatwick last week. I have had four laser attacks in the last twelve months.

The worst attacks were two attacks in two days at FCO, the Italian authorities seem to take no action whatsoever.
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Old 15th Feb 2016, 21:47
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Sallyann1234 and LlamaFarmer

I am now much better informed about the decision processes and it makes a lot more sense to me now rather than listening to an ATC conversation with Shannon and seeing a map with a flight path heading out into the Atlantic before turning back.

I apologise if anyone felt offended by my comments. It genuinely wasn't meant that way. This thread has given a good insight into the multiple decisions flight crews must balance and the decision to return to Heathrow could not have been lightly made. Fortunately there was a safe outcome for those involved.

I have several doctors among my family members, so discussing and picking a preferred treatment or surgeon is not as risky as it sounds.
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Old 15th Feb 2016, 22:10
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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I have a suspicion that there are no real airline pilots here who would genuinely, seriously question the decision of this crew to return after this incident.

If there are, could you identify yourselves so that I can avoid flying with you?

Thank you.
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Old 15th Feb 2016, 22:41
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I was once passing under a motorway bridge, and some idiots dropped a rock onto my car. While not causing much damage, it was very startling. "Kids larking around" you may say. A few days later another car was hit, they were not so lucky. The windscreen was smashed, in the resulting collision the driver died.

I'm normally not in favour of knee jerk reactions, but in this case there is absolutely no need for handheld, high power lasers. There is a certain class of stupid people with reckless nature who will use whatever is to hand for the purpose of deliberate vandalism, and they either don't care or too stupid to realise the consequences, if people are injured or even die.

If there was a petition to ban handheld lasers, I would sign it.
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 03:36
  #108 (permalink)  
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Deleted - see Airbubba post below. (Got it now Airbubba, tape link wasn't working for me earlier).


From the time the decision to abort the flight and land was taken, until the wheels actually touched down, was probably little different between returning to LHR or circling to dump fuel and land at Shannon. A return to LHR would be the obvious choice if the emergency is considered insufficient for an immediate landing at the nearest suitable/available airport.

Last edited by parabellum; 16th Feb 2016 at 04:26.
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 04:01
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I am wondering when all the details are known if the attack from the l@ser happened at a lower altitude and the mention of '8000 feet' comes about because that is a level often associated with fuel dump over populated areas?
Please listen to the audio clip posted above. They dumped at FL360 in Shannon's airspace long after the laser incident. They reported that they were at 8000 feet 6 or 7 miles west of LHR when the laser attack occurred.
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 06:12
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To successfully illuminate such a small target at such a distance with a hand-held device shows amazing powers of dexterity and precision - well beyond any normal human capability.
In other words you think the hundreds of reports per year of pilots of being illuminated by lasers in the UK alone are a work of fiction?

These devices are used as designators/target markers/ or even mundane pointers for several reasons, one of which is they're relatively easy to aim ....
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 06:25
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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GOULI

I am now much better informed about the decision processes and it makes a lot more sense to me now rather than listening to an ATC conversation with Shannon and seeing a map with a flight path heading out into the Atlantic before turning back.

I apologise if anyone felt offended by my comments. It genuinely wasn't meant that way. This thread has given a good insight into the multiple decisions flight crews must balance and the decision to return to Heathrow could not have been lightly made. Fortunately there was a safe outcome for those involved.
Maybe the best thing you can learn from this is that you have two ears and one mouth and to use them in that ratio.
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 06:35
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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Wiggy

It would seem that some on this forum know much better that I about the frequency of laser attacks.

Obviously the very brigh green light that illuminates my cockpit at night is something other than a laser because we are informed that a laser is too difficult to aim.

My view is that a laser attack on an aircraft should attract a minimum five year prison sentence as the best way of protecting the safety of the public both in the air and on the ground.
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 06:47
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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I think some are misunderstanding what is meant by "aiming" a laser.

An incredibly brief flash past the cockpit is not going to damage eyes unless the laser is spectacularly strong. To maintain accuracy on the cockpit at any range handheld is impossible.
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 07:07
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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To successfully illuminate such a small target at such a distance with a hand-held device shows amazing powers of dexterity and precision - well beyond any normal human capability.
Rubbish. All you have to do if you're a thrill-seeking kid is waggle it about. They're not trying to shoot it out of the sky like they're in a James Bond film.
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 07:12
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Originally Posted by Tourist
I think some are misunderstanding what is meant by "aiming" a laser.

An incredibly brief flash past the cockpit is not going to damage eyes unless the laser is spectacularly strong. To maintain accuracy on the cockpit at any range handheld is impossible.
By that logic it would also be impossible to take a photogragh of said aircraft with a high-magnification zoom lens camera handheld.....but that can be done easily also.
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 07:24
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I had a laser attack flying into Leeds at night in a corporate jet I had an FO with me.
It was temporally blinding, startling and we reported it to ATC but not IMO incapacitating.

Where I feel it could be incapacitating is if you had an unknown tendency to fits or other intense light induced conditions where such an attack could bring on that condition.

To find the culprit would be like finding a needle in a haystack

Pace
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 07:33
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Could someone explain the use of the ampersand symbol in the "L" word please? The word iteslf is an acronym for something like
Light
Amplification by
Stimulated
Emission and
Radiation

(IIRC from my school physics days); don't tell me that it's banned by a swear-checker
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 07:33
  #118 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Pace
I had a laser attack flying into Leeds at night in a corporate jet I had an FO with me.
It was temporally blinding, startling and we reported it to ATC but not IMO incapacitating.
You were temporarily blinded but not temporarily incapacitated?
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 07:36
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I think some are misunderstanding what is meant by "aiming" a l@ser.

An incredibly brief flash past the cockpit is not going to damage eyes unless the l@ser is spectacularly strong. To maintain accuracy on the cockpit at any range handheld is impossible.
To put this into some perspective, these nasty little ch@v criminals are taking handheld high power l@sers (5-10watt) and aiming them in the direction of the aircraft. Due to the high quantities of illicit substances in their blood stream their little hands are shaking which means that the whole aircraft gets a good bathing in l@ser light caused by their inability to hold the l@ser steadily. All it needs is a brief glimpse of the l@ser light entering the flight deck and for one of the crew to look in the general direction of the light (natural human reaction) and them be caught by the full strength of the l@ser when it finds its way back into the FD window again.

IMHO, find the perps, make an example out of them (big time) and ban anything but the lowest powered l@sers.
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 07:40
  #120 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PDR1
...at a range of a few dozen feet. I challenge you to show that you could hold a hand-held laser pointer with the spot on a specific foot-square feature of a tower block over 3 miles away. Try it when you're next on stop-over in a hotel - try illuminating a target on the other side of town and see just how difficult it is.
You don't need to illuminate a specific spot you merely have to flash it briefly across my eyes and that my friend only requires a bit of luck and the very fact that you can't aim it exactly helps.

Having been the subject of a laser attack I can tell you that getting a laser in your eyes even for less than half a second does cause flash blindness. In my case it lasted for several minutes and I couldn't see the instruments properly during that time.

yesterday I challenged someone to provide cites for claims made - a claim that someone had been caught and prosecuted for using a l@ser against an airliner. It shouldn't have been that hard because such an arrest (never mind a prosecution) would have made it into the news. Unless and until I see that cite I will regard many of these claims with a degree of scepticism. Not all of them - I wouldn't for a moment suggest that such attacks never happen. But if you read back through this thread you'll see several claims which don't really stack up.
Have you tried Google?
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