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[email protected] attacks on Aircraft

Old 1st Aug 2009, 20:40
  #281 (permalink)  
 
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BBC strikes again

Yesterday (31st July), the BBC One Show had an "astronomer" introducing the night sky to a group of "the public", somewhere in Norfolk (I think).

The idiot was waving a hand-held [email protected] pointer all over the sky, pointing at various constellations.

I guess it was probably low powered, but it wasn't exactly a great example for our wonderful national broadcaster to set (again).

Sooty
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 17:53
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Interesting article including statistics on incidents reported last year about [email protected] being pointed at aircraft - 'police to arrest on sight'

BBC NEWS | UK | England | [email protected] owners 'arrested on sight'
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 19:22
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Yesterday (31st July), the BBC One Show had an "astronomer" introducing the night sky to a group of "the public", somewhere in Norfolk (I think).

The idiot was waving a hand-held [email protected] pointer all over the sky, pointing at various constellations.

I guess it was probably low powered, but it wasn't exactly a great example for our wonderful national broadcaster to set (again).

Sooty




Looked at the news, seems the "idiot" did not cause any incidents and the event passed over without any of the bewinged brethern being bothered.

I am actually hoping that some "LAW" comes into force where we astronomers have to apply for a licence to broadcast coherent light into the heavens. What do you say, would a 500 per annum fee satisfy you and all the egoistical freaks who inhabit this board.

Hows that for a rant, Muppet?
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 20:42
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Originally Posted by glad rag
I am actually hoping that some "LAW" comes into force where we astronomers have to apply for a licence to broadcast coherent light into the heavens. What do you say, would a 500 per annum fee satisfy you and all the egoistical freaks who inhabit this board.
I don't see how charging responsible astronomers to use [email protected] responsibly is going to make any difference. My beef was with the example to the public which was set by using a [email protected] as a clever pointing stick to wave about the sky on a prime time TV programme.

Hows that for a rant, Muppet?
Pretty tame rant by the standards of this board.
Who's Muppet?
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 21:39
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Well you got the irony,

"I don't see how charging responsible astronomers to use [email protected] responsibly is going to make any difference.

My beef was with the example to the public which was set by using a [email protected] as a clever pointing stick to wave about the skyon a prime time TV programme."

Oh.

No you didn't.

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Old 7th Aug 2009, 06:42
  #286 (permalink)  
 
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Well its all over the regional news bulletins in the UK this morning with a BALPA spokeswoman doing her stuff. So that probably means that every tw*t in the country will be down to Radio Shack or wherever you get these things from.
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 08:39
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For info; the high-powered (>50W) devices used to create artificial guide stars for astronomy are used in consultation with aviation authorities in order to avoid risk. Pro astronomers don't wave their little torches around the sky, and the big ones would do some serious damage if you got in the way, being some 10000 times more powerful than the usual "pointer" type,

In multi-conjugate adaptive optics, up to 5 artificial guide stars are created by exciting ions in the sodium layer of the atmosphere (at about 90km) with high-powered coherent thingies. It allows systems to compensate for atmospheric turbulence when there aren't any bright enough guide stars in the telescope's field of view.
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 10:20
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Just needs to be combined with what used to go on voicewise from (not)ATC JFK and there will be real problems. Dont want to say too much but I'm sure most of you know what I mean.
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 12:01
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licence lasers

Perhaps it is desirable that anyone wanting a [email protected] above 1 milliwatt - the usual limit in lecture theatres, should need a licence to buy one. Not by any means a complete answer but would help.
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Old 18th Aug 2009, 14:32
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Maybe the idiots should be taught the salutary (but self-inflicted) lesson learned by a student some years ago at, IIRC, Imperial College. Stares into optical path; "Professor, why is the beam getting fainter?". No permanent damage, fortunately.
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Old 18th Aug 2009, 17:40
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Originally Posted by 911slf
Perhaps it is desirable that anyone wanting a [email protected] above 1 milliwatt - the usual limit in lecture theatres, should need a licence to buy one. Not by any means a complete answer but would help.
Just about every home has powerful [email protected] in it in CD and DVD players. This is even more true for homes with CD or DVD burners in computers. Both types of [email protected] are powerful enough to be dangerous to the eyes, and both can be removed and modified into [email protected] that can be aimed at people and aircraft, unfortunately. A licensing scheme would do nothing to address this problem, although it might serve as a slight deterrent to casual users.
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Old 18th Aug 2009, 18:29
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Originally Posted by AnthonyGA View Post
Just about every home has powerful [email protected] in it in CD and DVD players. This is even more true for homes with CD or DVD burners in computers. Both types of [email protected] are powerful enough to be dangerous to the eyes, and both can be removed and modified into [email protected] that can be aimed at people and aircraft, unfortunately. A licensing scheme would do nothing to address this problem, although it might serve as a slight deterrent to casual users.
I think you have missed several points in this discussion.

CD and DVD [email protected] are still only milliwatt [email protected], and to extract one from a CD or DVD burner, and add the electronics necessary to turn it into a portable [email protected] pointer and take it outside, is way beyond the technical knowledge of the pond life that actually perpetrate these attacks.

And why bother, if the "stuff" is still freely available for sale on the internet, eBay or otherwise????

I think you're barking up the wrong tree, even if I freely admit I haven't got a ready-made answer either....

Personally (and it's only me), licensing would go some way, with everything beyond a simple classroom pointer or room measuring device being treated as a deadly weapon, and requiring a license.

But I wonder if repression, with very highly publicised prison sentences, might have more effect? If playing with the latest toy may land you in prison for five years for attemped murder, might most of the chavs think twice? Dunno... what do you think?

CJ
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Old 18th Aug 2009, 18:47
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Manchester Evening News


A MAN who shone a [email protected] pen at a police helicopter is facing jail.

Shaun Holt, 22, was outside his home when he pointed the [email protected] at the aircraft's cockpit.

The crew pinpointed his location and officers were sent to the house in West Avenue, Golborne, Wigan.

Police found him with the [email protected] and arrested him. He admitted responsibility and pleaded guilty to recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft at Liverpool Crown Court.

He was granted bail but warned to expect to be sent to jail when he is sentenced next month.

Holt, who has a 14-month-old son, told the M.E.N: "I think the whole thing has been a bit harsh. I didn't know it was a police helicopter and I was surprised when I got arrested.

"I didn't go out to point at the helicopter - I just bought a [email protected] pointer off a bloke in the street and I was just seeing what it could do - when you get a [email protected] pointer you flash it about.

"If I go to prison it would be a nightmare, I'm normally a responsible person and I'm sorry for what I've done. I feel sort of daft about it."

Judge Henry Globe QC had earlier told Holt that his offence was `coming before the courts with increasing regularity'.

He said: "It is a serious offence. You must understand the likelihood is that the court will pass a custodial sentence."

Latest figures show 28 aircraft were targeted in the north west by people using [email protected] pens during 2008 - including 12 around Manchester Airport. Ten were jumbo jets carrying thousands of passengers.
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Old 18th Aug 2009, 21:16
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"I didn't go out to point at the helicopter - I just bought a [email protected] pointer off a bloke in the street and I was just seeing what it could do - when you get a [email protected] pointer you flash it about.

"If I go to prison it would be a nightmare, I'm normally a responsible person and I'm sorry for what I've done. I feel sort of daft about it."
Why not take him at his word for a moment?

Many people see these things being used all the time. Not just as pointers in a lecture hall, but as a [email protected] show during a local pop concert, etc. etc.

So how many think they're just "cool" and are totally unaware they're actually fukcing dangerous?

"...when you get a [email protected] pointer you flash it about."
I don't have a [email protected] pointer, just one of those big torches/flashlights with four D-size batteries (why? all sorts of things, like ten minutes ago I went to check the garden watering pump, which has been acting up - for that sort of thing a penlight torch is perfectly useless).
And sure, I've been shining it down the road to see how far it was visible, and up into the sky when it's humid, to watch the beam.

So, I can understand people who "just flash it about to see what it can do".

Now what?
Would a lot of high-level media publicity about the dangers make 95% of them aware of the risks, and be a lot more careful with their "toys", or would it just encourage a fresh bunch of chavs to buy one and "have a go"?
I honestly don't know.

CJ
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Old 19th Aug 2009, 10:50
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Some moron in NZ just got 200 hrs community service for aiming a [email protected] at aircraft from...
the airport view carpark. He got off lightly.

How come all you guys spell it [email protected] ?
never seen that before .

Pete
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Old 19th Aug 2009, 11:36
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Ford Transit,
See earlier post http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/3...ml#post5092701
on the subject.
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Old 19th Aug 2009, 12:21
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ChristiaanJ

Bon jour,

I don't believe that "I didn't know" is an excuse. It's a well known principal that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

I didn't know it was a police helicopter
So it's ok to [email protected] civilian aircraft?

I have a powerful [email protected] distance measuring device I use for surveys, and I've seen [email protected] pointers. These devices have a large notice (and pictogram) saying Class X [email protected] - It is dangerous to point device directly at the eye The instruction book also covers the safety issues.

We need this guy to go down "pour encourager les autres"

WP
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Old 19th Aug 2009, 17:00
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Whiskey Papa,

Salut!

I think we're slightly at cross purposes....
I wasn't looking for an excuse, but an explanation....

I may be wrong of course, but I would think in the majority of cases the "perps" are not really aware of how narrow and blinding the beam is even at a range of a mile and more. They just treat it as a glorified flashlight... until the police shows up on their doorstep. There may not necessarily always be malevolent or criminal intent.

You're a professional user. You read the instructions....

"These devices have a large notice (and pictogram) saying Class X [email protected] - It is dangerous to point device directly at the eye."
Do these people (who bought it on eBay) understand that does not just mean "across a room", but also at over a mile away?

" The instruction book also covers the safety issues."
1) You assume the "perps" can read.
2) Don't get me started on "safety instructions". These days, the few vital instructions are buried in a sea of irrelevant nonsense, which is there only for legal reasons.
"Do not dry the wet fur of a live animal in your microwave" comes to mind.
"Do not place a container containing liquid on top of the unit", this in the "safety" instructions for our flat-screen TV with a 1/4" upper edge, hardly the place for a vase of flowers...

I'm back to my original question... more education or just repression?

CJ
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Old 19th Aug 2009, 17:15
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More execution

The monobrowed scrotes know very well what they're doing - they've just migrated from heaving lumps off concrete off railway bridges to something that requires less effort.
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Old 19th Aug 2009, 17:24
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sepp

I read something like your last, and every so often wish I was a brit.
"monobrowed scrotes" indeed.
Well said, sir!
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