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-   -   [email protected] attacks on Aircraft (https://www.pprune.org/safety-crm-qa-emergency-response-planning/349414-l-ser-attacks-aircraft.html)

Legalapproach 16th May 2008 18:09

[email protected] attacks on Aircraft
At Snaresbrook Crown Court on the 15th May HH Judge Tudor Owen sentenced ech of two defendants who had pleaded guilty to recklessly endangering the safety of an aircraft by shining a green laser light into the cockpit of a police helicopter to 6 months imprisonment

Captain Brian Baldwin, the chief pilot of the Metropolitan Police Air Support Unit since 1997 told the court that the frequency of lasers being used against their helicopters is doubling each year so that there are now up to 15 incidents each month. In his opinion the increase in recent years is in direct proportion to the reduction in size, cost and increase in availability of such devices. He described the effect of shining such a device into the cockpit of a helicopter at night and gave his opinion that

“..it is only through chance that we have not had a serious incident or accident from the increasing incidence of laser lights being used against police helicopters”.
Judge Owen told the two men

“The potentially catastrophic consequences of endangering an aircraft in flight are so obvious they do not need to be spelled out and when an aircraft is flying over a densely populated area the consequences may be even more serious.

As frequently seen in cases before this and other courts, police helicopters do invaluable work protecting the community and combating crime. That includes, for example, searching for and helping to apprehend suspects, assisting with firearms incidents, public order incidents and counter terrorism operations. The crews are entitled to be protected from the likes of you who are, as I have said, a dangerous menace.

The message should go out that people who target helicopters in this idiotic and dangerous way should expect to receive custodial sentences.”

torquewrench 17th May 2008 06:30

"The message should go out that people who target helicopters in this idiotic and dangerous way should expect to receive custodial sentences.”

Hear, hear.

Would that there were more people with the evident good sense of the honorable Judge.

The laser blinding issue received an airing in the NYT's house blog today, and to judge by the tenor of the comments, the seriousness of this issue continues to be lost on the general public.

Of course, if there is eventually an outcome wherein metal is bent and bodies are broken, there will be a vitriolic public outcry that someone should have done something about the problem sooner.

cwatters 17th May 2008 10:20

Two and a half years for this man..

Bronx 17th May 2008 11:57


Two and a half years for this man..
That Australian case was posted in the Rotorheads forum. The sentence was for a string of firearm offenses as well as "prejudicing the safe operation of an aircraft."

Let's hope courts in all countries start taking a serious line.
Gotta be the way to go. :ok:


christep 17th May 2008 15:15

Originally Posted by Legalapproach (Post 4117342)
At Snaresbrook Crown Court on the 15th May HH Judge Tudor Owen sentenced ech of two defendants who had pleaded guilty to recklessly endangering the safety of an aircraft by shining a green laser light into the cockpit of a police helicopter to 6 months imprisonment

There's hope for the UK legal system yet - sometimes there couldn't be a better man for the job.

Che Guevara 17th May 2008 16:05

Link below from the Middle East forum is interesting, same problem...lets see what happens to these imbiciles.


mustpost 14th Jun 2008 07:40

Laser beams
"Laser beam 'dazzles' pilot preparing to land at airport"


Any updates on this one?

Ashling 14th Jun 2008 13:15

This has happened at quite a few places recently and to me personaly twice in the last 6 months. Thankfully the laser was far enough away and comeing from a bit off center so I never had it shine straight into my eyes. For me it was an annoyance rather than a danger.

That said some of these devices are pretty powerfull and have the potential if used correctly to cause real damage. I think a police helicopter driver had his vision impaired by one of these lasers. It beggars belief that people are this dum and think its a lark, bit like putting rubble on a railway line to see what happens. Maybe the plods should declare it as terrorist activity and proceed accordingly.

bsal 14th Jun 2008 14:07

The same thing happened at Dublin airport a few weeks back, pilots reporting a green laser beam directed at them on approach to runway 16. Garda chopper was brought in to sust it out. Unbeleivable how stupid some people can be.

Diesel Fitter 14th Jun 2008 14:23

There have been a rash of such attacks in NZ too-
"The Civil Aviation Authority says 16 laser strikes have occurred in Wellington alone during the past 18 months, out of a nationwide total of more than 30 over the past decade."

And Oz-
"A recent laser attack on a Qantas Boeing 747 has led to concerns over the high intensity lights that are being imported into the country.

The aircraft was on final approach into Sydney Airport after travelling from Melbourne when it was attacked by the green laser. However it did not affect the landing and the aircraft landed without incident. This was not the first time that lasers had been used on aircraft in the area, one of which led to a youth being arrested. It is not clear if the incidents are the work of irresponsible individuals or if there is a more serious aim to the attacks.

After the spate of attacks the Australian Government has said that is will ban the import of such devices."

Andu 14th Jun 2008 15:20

I've resisted saying this on a public forum for some time for fear of giving someone ideas, but now, with so many recent instances of laser attacks, I think it's just a matter of time before you-know-who's boys mount co-ordinated attacks in many different cities worldwide on civil aviation targets. Unless airlines and authorities prepare for such an attack, it has the potential to have a devastating effect.

The authorities have to make it very clear to anyone who thinks pointing a laser at an aeroplane is a clever idea that any such attack (and 'attack' is the correct word) will be treated very, very seriously - as in attempted murder, for murder is what it will amount to eventually when either professional terrorists or some stupid fool gets 'lucky' and dazzles a pilot at a critical point on the approach or during the takeoff roll.

speedrestriction 14th Jun 2008 19:57

Unauthorised lasers also figured in the EGFF NOTAMs today. I had an incident not so long ago - reported to ATC who passed it on to the police. Lock some of these morons up for a few years and we will see how funny it is then.

stoneyrosetreered 14th Jun 2008 23:16

Can't see how it can be policed.
I remember a couple of months ago the same thing happened but to a police helicopter, unsurprisingly the helicopter was there shortly and some lovely people at his door. You have to wonder what goes through these peoples minds, also, are laser pens (like the sort we used to use in the classroom) really powerful enough to reach an aircraft a couple of thousand feet up?

HansFlyer 15th Jun 2008 08:34

Laser? More dangerous than one might think!
Although the above technical decription serves well to inform us - it does sound as if some issues are not addressed:

The fact that the green light "speads" or "dillutes" is comforting until one discovers that the wind shield has a few "scratches" that causes it to suddenly become completely green. Unlike you car where the problem of an oncoming vehicle not dimming their head lamps?

Check this thread from the rotor heads:



cwatters 15th Jun 2008 10:16

This is worth a read..

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


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

If I did the sums right...

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

sedburgh 7th Jul 2008 15:35

From the Southern Echo website toady:

Man Charged After Pointing Laser Pen At Plane (from Daily Echo)

A HAMPSHIRE man has been charged with putting an aircraft in danger by shooting a laser beam at a plane.
Police have charged 19-year-old David Williams of Cuckoo Lane, Stubbington following an incident involving a 'laser pen' at the former Daedalus airfield at Lee-On-Solent.
A police spokeswoman said: "Williams was arrested by police after a laser pen beam was repeatedly aimed at the Hampshire Constabulary Air Support Unit plane, which was taking off from its airfield base at 11.13pm on June 5 this year.

"The beam affected the pilot's night vision, but he was able to take the plane to a higher altitude and the plane's observer officers used the aircraft's equipment to search the area below."
Police teams on the ground were directed to a nearby park where the Williams was stopped by police officers and today he was charged with the offence under the provisions of the Air Navigation Order 2005, Article 73.
It is the first time that this charge has been brought against a person in Hampshire.
Williams is due to appear before Fareham Magistrates Court on Thursday, July 24.

Bus Junkie 7th Jul 2008 20:48

I got lit up twice a few weeks ago. The same guy hit two other aircraft and the police helicopter that was looking for him. They caught him easily. The FBI agent told me there were four kids joyriding with a $300 laser bought on line. I was 15 miles from the laser and it made my left eye sore for a day.

non iron 9th Jul 2008 01:05

A matter of time.
l remember passing Manchester heading north in `93 on " guy fawkes " night and having a problem with lasers criss-crossing the sky ( l mean strong enough to light clouds which was the intention plainly). l made a report to atc from above 14,000ft, asking that the police investigate. My co-pilot, who was medicaly trained, kept his/her head down `till it stopped.
Our very own lawyer has got this right, bang `em up if caught "playing" with aircraft.

soddim 18th Aug 2008 16:07

[email protected] And Aircraft
BBC NEWS | England | [email protected] blinds passenger jet pilot

Mindless or terrorist?

hardcase 18th Aug 2008 16:29

a total muppet who should get the electric chair :mad:

luckily it was a two crew a/c

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