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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:14 PM   #1
hkskyline
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MISC | Laser Attacks on Airplanes

More pilots blinded by lasers
20 now report they've been targeted while trying to land at Pearson and Island airports
Toronto Star
21 October 2008

Incidents of pilots being blinded by lasers while attempting to land in the GTA are on the rise.

Back in March, Transport Canada had got five complaints since 2005 from pilots attempting to land at Toronto area airports about someone shining a laser at their plane and trying to target their eyes from the ground.

Since then, 15 pilots have filed local complaints about laser pointers aimed at incoming or outgoing aircraft. The most recent reports were from Oct. 10 and 13, by pilots flying into Toronto Island and Pearson International airports respectively.

"We can no longer say that it's rare," said Robert Palmer, spokesperson for WestJet Airlines.

In total, Transport Canada has received 73 reports of lasers aimed into cockpits across the country, including 46 so far in 2008.

The aviation industry is labelling these incidents "security concerns," a category reserved for bomb threats, sabotage and hijackings in Transport Canada's civilian aviation reporting system.

The types of high-powered lasers able to reach a cockpit from several kilometres away can be found in most boardrooms.

Earlier this month, a WestJet first officer was hit in the eyes during takeoff from Calgary when someone shone a green light into the cockpit of the 130-seat aircraft.

Upon landing in Kelowna, he was taken to hospital and released without injury.

"I wonder if the people doing this truly appreciate how dangerous it is," said WestJet's Palmer.

"I think in their minds it's a prank, (but) it's far more serious."

While the level of industry concern may be high, police tend to find the practice a random one that they're at pains to prevent.

Pilots have reported a green laser coming from near Canada's Wonderland and white lasers from the area of Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave. A Porter Airline pilot reported a green laser aimed from two kilometres north of Bluffers Park.

No laser-related arrests have been made in the GTA.

Under the Aeronautic Act, someone caught attempting to blind a pilot with a laser risks a $100,000 fine and five years in prison.

Only one conviction has occurred in Canada. A Calgary man, David Mackow, was caught beaming a green laser from his downtown apartment at an Air Canada Jazz flight a year ago. The pilot alerted police, who dispatched a helicopter.

When Mackow aimed the laser at the helicopter, police isolated his position and arrested him. He told police he was "just having some fun." He was fined $1,000.

Air Canada pilot Stephen Guetta says the threat to a cockpit is probably greatest when the plane is about 10 seconds from landing.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 08:16 PM   #2
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That sort of idiocy happens in NZ too. A couple of examples:
Quote:
Police hunt for laser 'idiot'
The Dominion Post | Saturday, 27 September 2008

Police are searching for an "idiot" who repeatedly aimed a laser beam into the cockpits of planes at Wellington airport.
<snip>
And even more stupid than the first: lasering the cops' helicopter. An almost guaranteed way to get nicked.
Quote:
Police nab laser-pointing youth
By CATHERINE WOULFE - Sunday Star Times | Sunday, 28 September 2008

A young Auckland man is facing up to 14 years in prison for allegedly shining a high-powered laser pointer at the police helicopter Eagle - which promptly hunted him down.
<snip>
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 04:42 AM   #3
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Ground laser injures eye of WestJet first officer
Canadian Press
17 October 2008

Calgary -- The number of cases involving lasers being pointed at pilots is on the rise.

In the latest incident two weeks ago, shortly after a WestJet plane took off from Calgary the first officer was hit in the eye by a green laser beam. He was taken to hospital in Kelowna to be examined.

WestJet spokesman Robert Palmer said any light or laser beam that hits a pilot's eye at a critical moment such as takeoff or landing can affect safety.

Transport Canada investigates all directed lights flashed at planes.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 04:31 AM   #4
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gotta wonder who would do it - can't be kids - they get tired of things too quickly
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:12 AM   #5
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This stuff has Happened in Sydney, there was one last year when a plane was coming into land, the plane had to divert to a different runway, i think now in Australia if you do it you get fined

real stupid thing to do!
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Old October 24th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #6
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How do people target pilot's eyes from several kilometers away? Even just the aircraft window? You simply can't do that from that far without any other equipment to stabilize the laser. Even the slightest hand movement will be amplified greatly at such lengths, add to that the fact that the plane is also moving. Anyone who's ever tried zooming in on a video camera would know that. At about 40x, it shakes like crazy, although the movements are almost invisible to the naked eye (if you look at the hands). Also, these puny lasers found in boardrooms can't really damage eyes at such distances, or can they?
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Old April 10th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #7
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Cyprus arrests youths aiming lasers at planes

NICOSIA, April 10 (Reuters) - Four youths have been arrested in Cyprus on suspicion of directing laser beams at incoming aircraft close to an airport, blinding pilots and potentially endangering hundreds of lives.

Authorities said they were investigating the alleged involvement of the youths in 10 separate incidents recorded from August 2008. In each case, beams of laser light were shone at incoming aircraft, impairing the vision of pilots.

Police went public with the incidents this week, when a flight from Athens was targeted as it came in to land at Larnaca, Cyprus's main international airport.

The youths, who are in their late teens, were held on suspicion of endangering flight safety. They were remanded in custody on Friday pending further investigations.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 05:48 PM   #8
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Glasgow Air chiefs to target jet laser menaces



AVIATION bosses have launched a campaign against "laser louts" in Glasgow after a steep rise in incidents against pilots.

Across the UK the number of reported cases of lasers being maliciously directed at planes and helicopters rose from 29 in 2007 to 206 last year, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

Many of the incidents last year involved commercial airliners flying in to UK airports.

There were five incidents at Glasgow International Airport in 2008, compared to one the previous year, while there was one case involving a helicopter above Wick.

In the first three months of this year there have been eight incidents in Glasgow, while across the UK there have been 76.

The Civil Aviation Authority has now joined forces with police and Government departments to track down the culprits.

There have already been a number of successful prosecutions in the UK, with offenders receiving custodial sentences. The new campaign aims to highlight the penalties they face.

Spearheading the campaign is a new device - currently being made available among police forces around the country - which measures the strength and wave length of a laser beam to help identify it.

The device can pinpoint the exact location of where a beam originates.

A photograph of the beam can also be taken for use in court.

Bob Jones, head of flight operations at the CAA, said: "To those individuals targeting aircraft with laser 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.

"We strongly urge anyone in the local area who sees a laser being used against aircraft to contact the police immediately.

"These things are not toys, they pose a serious risk to all flight safety."
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 03:24 AM   #9
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4 more Sea-Tac flights targeted with laser beam
18 April 2009

SEA-TAC, Wash. (AP) - Airport officials say four more planes have been targeted with a laser beam while heading into Sea-Tac Airport for a landing.

Airport spokesman Perry Cooper told KOMO-TV the pilots of the planes reported seeing a flash of bright red beam while preparing to land Friday night. All four were hit within a 15-minute period, beginning at 8:30.

The planes all landed without incident. All were headed for the airport's third runway.

Investigators believe the beams originated from a place two to three miles north of the airport. They've narrowed their search to an area north of Glen Acres Golf Course and east of State Route 509.

Friday night's incident follows nearly two dozen similar occurrences that have taken place at Sea-Tac Airport in 2009.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 05:23 PM   #10
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Crew members say 2 planes were tracked by a green laser as they flew out of NJ airport
16 May 2009

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Federal officials will investigate reports that two Continental Airlines planes were tracked by a green laser as they flew out of Newark Liberty International Airport.

Both incidents occurred shortly after 10 p.m. Friday.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said crew members aboard Continental flights 460 and 1192 reported the laser light to air traffic control. He said the incidents occurred about 4.2 miles south of the airport.

Flight 460 was headed toward San Antonio, Texas while flight 1192 was en route to Boston, according to the Continental Web site.

Further details on the incidents were not disclosed.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 10:20 AM   #11
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what a horrible thing to do anyone know what the laser contraption looks like, cant be the puny ones that fit in pocket and used during presentations and lectures
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 05:04 PM   #12
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Blinding beam pointed at landing passenger jet
22 July 2009
The Sun

A PILOT was almost blinded with a laser as he tried to land a passenger jet.

The Aer Lingus captain was bringing the plane in from Barcelona when he was BEAMED at Cork Airport.

He immediately contacted air traffic control.

Cops confirmed they are investigating the potentially disastrous incident on Monday night.

A Garda spokesman said: "We did respond to the call. But they were unable to find anyone with a laser.

"People seem to be bring-inthese devices in from abroad and they don't see it as being any big deal — but it is quite dangerous."

A second reported incident involving an Aer Lingus plane approaching Dub-liAirport an hour later was blamed on high-beam car headlights.

Interfering with planes carries a jail term of up to seven years. At Christmas, the Garda helicopter was scrambled three times after danger beams were aimed at landing planes in Dublin.

Last year the captain of a Boeing 737 was hit in the eye as he made his final approach in Belfast.

The Irish Airline Pilots' Association branded lasers "a very, very serious threat to safety".

Spokesman Capt Michael McLaughlin said: "The level of stupidity is almost unfathomable. They are potentially risking the lives of vast numbers of people."
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 10:52 AM   #13
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What kind of a laser are we talking about that would post such a risk...the normal ones you use for presentation,etc?

And how close one has to be to be able to focus a laser through the small cockpit of a plane into a pilots eye in a jet traveling at hundreds of kms per hour?
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 11:17 AM   #14
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I'm getting conflicting thoughts from all these various reports on what type of laser can do this damage. I don't think the typical laser pointers used in school can reach that far, yet some articles make it seem like anyone can do it and these things are very common and can cause such lethal damage. Yet even though the plane may be moving at 300-400 km/h upon landing, because of its distance from the ground, if I'm on the rooftop, I can probably focus a laser beam on a plane for a good minute before it gets too far away?
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 03:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I'm getting conflicting thoughts from all these various reports on what type of laser can do this damage. I don't think the typical laser pointers used in school can reach that far, yet some articles make it seem like anyone can do it and these things are very common and can cause such lethal damage. Yet even though the plane may be moving at 300-400 km/h upon landing, because of its distance from the ground, if I'm on the rooftop, I can probably focus a laser beam on a plane for a good minute before it gets too far away?
Focusing it on a plane would be difficult...focusing it on the cockpit window would be a challenge enough let alone targeting a pilots eye. Unless they mean an "accidental" flash on his eye for a second or less would be so annoying and lethal?

As for those idiots that do this, I hope they can develop laser seeking missiles that are carried on all commercial planes.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 06:14 PM   #16
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Greek pilots see red from laser pen pranks
19 August 2009
Agence France Presse

Greece's civil aviation pilots on Wednesday called for a crackdown on laser pen pranksters who have endangered a growing number of plane landings around the country.

The pilots' association raised the alarm after a spate of incidents where teenagers flashed laser pens at incoming plane cockpits.

"This has been going on for around two years, apparently it's become fashionable among certain youngsters and the incidents are increasing in frequency," association chairman Grigoris Constantellos told AFP.

Around 30 laser pranks have been recorded this year, and the situation is more dangerous in summer when pilots need to be particularly careful due to seasonal high winds, Constantellos said.

"Having the pilot blinded for three or four seconds during landing can really create a difficult situation," he said.

The two last incidents occurred on the islands of Rhodes and Crete, two of Greece's main travel destinations which thousands of tourists visit every year.

Police arrested two teenagers on Rhodes over the weekend after they forced a domestic flight to abandon its first landing approach.

Another teenager in Iraklio, Crete, was placed under judicial supervision earlier this month.

Incidents have also been reported on the island of Corfu -- another major travel destination -- and in the northern city of Thessaloniki, where in June the local prosecutor ordered police to step up patrols around Makedonia Airport.

The sale of laser pens is nominally illegal in Greece but their use is particularly popular in sports stadiums where fans use them on rival players.

Laser pens were also used against riot police in the youth protests that rocked Greece in December.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #17
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This has been happening in England Aswell:

Cheshire Police hunt yobs shining laser pens at planes coming in to land at Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Aug 6 2009 by Paul Mannion, Chester Chronicle

TROUBLEMAKERS who shine laser pens into the cockpits of passenger jets have been warned they could cause a major disaster.

Idiots in Frodsham, Chester, Broughton and Runcorn are shining the potentially blinding lights into the eyes of pilots as the planes descend into Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Cheshire police Inspector Phil Hodgson said: “This type of offence has happened in other parts of the country, but it’s the first time for Cheshire and planes coming into Liverpool.

“The lasers are fairly common in teaching, but in these circumstances the potential serious consequences are too bad to contemplate.”

At about midnight on Friday, July 31, crew in a plane about 11 miles from the airport reported a green light directed toward them from the direction of Chester and Broughton, near the A55.

The previous day, a green light was shone at pilots about 3,000ft over Frodsham from Runcorn marshes.

And on Monday, July 27, at11.20pm, a flight from Milan, flying at just 2,000ft, had a green light directed towards it from the Frodsham area.

In all three cases, the planes landed safely. Police say the same group is responsible for each of the incidents.

Technology is to be introduced by the airport which can pinpoint the exact location of the lasers in seconds.

The British Airline Pilots Association says the culprits could expect custodial sentences if caught.

A spokesman said: “These incidents are extremely dangerous for passengers and crew and people are very wrong if they think playing with them is fun.”
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Old August 20th, 2009, 06:43 AM   #18
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Probably impossible to track them down. Unless they're stupid enough to beam those lasers from their homes, I suspect the people who do this move around locations. If lucky, maybe a CCTV can capture them.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #19
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planes should be equipped with anti-laser missiles or maybe a powerful laser of their own.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 11:22 AM   #20
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i don´t understand what it gives to those people to that

if i want to do something stupid, i go to town and hit a man to look what happens

but an airplane with hunderts of people .... i don´t know
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