Police seek culprits after laser is beamed at plane

Malvern Gazette: Police seek culprits after laser is beamed at plane Police seek culprits after laser is beamed at plane

POLICE have appealed for information after a pilot was targeted by someone pointing a laser pen at an aircraft.

The plane was flying into Birmingham International Airport when it was targeted by a green laser pen while flying near Malvern.

Air traffic controllers at Swanwick, in Hampshire, contacted West Mercia Police at 7.45pm on Saturday, March 22, to report a green laser had been pointed three times at an Air Hamburg flight cruising at 17,000ft, about three miles up, as it descended into Birmingham.

They believed the source of the laser was somewhere in the Malvern area at 7.30pm the same night.

Police are asking for anyone with information to contact them.

They have warned that even though the light from the pen seems to stop because it is no longer scattered into the user's eyes, it can continue and reach aircraft, putting pilots and the cargo, or passengers, at risk.

The beam can distract pilots, can appear inches bigger than it does from its origin, can be seen more than 12 miles away, and can be mistaken for the aim on a weapon.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said: “Shining a laser at an aircraft in flight is a serious risk to its safety.

"Helicopters are particularly vulnerable as they have a solo pilot, fly low and have a large curved plexiglass windscreen that refracts the laser beam and floods the cockpit with light.

"Being dazzled and temporarily blinded by an intense light could potentially lead to the pilot losing control of the aircraft.

"Pointing a laser at an aircraft is now a specific criminal offence and the police are becoming very good at catching the perpetrators.

"We strongly urge anyone who observes a laser being used at night in the vicinity of an airport to contact the police immediately."

Figures show there were 1,570 laser attacks on aircraft in the UK in 2012, and 1,911 incidents in 2011.

Hotspots for the incidents were in Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Leeds Bradford and Heathrow airports.

There were also 216 attacks on UK passenger aircraft at foreign airports in 2012.

Laser pens are often used during presentations and are battery-powered. They can be bought online for as little as £8.

Anyone caught shining a device at an aircraft could face charges of endangering an aircraft, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Anyone with information, or who may have seen a green laser pointer being used in the area, is asked to contact the police on the non-emergency number, 101, and ask for police in Malvern, quoting reference number 589S 220314.

Comments (6)

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12:38pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Lord Newbold says...

How stupid can some people be playing silly grass lumps with people’s lives?
I only hope that when these people who part-take in this mindless past-time are caught that the judge multiplies the maximum number of year by the number of passengers and crew that are on board.

While I am not a regular airline passenger reading article like this makes my anger reach boiling point. Those discovered by the authorities should be categorised as being mentally unstable, and if a danger to the public should be locked away for life without any possibility of remission for good behaviour.

Irresponsible behaviour should not be tolerated no matter where it comes from.
Let us not listen to those silly meaningless excuses they come from a broken home
Several acquaintances of mine have come from broken homes. Yet they have turned out to be respectable members of the community, and would never consider doing anything this mindless.
How stupid can some people be playing silly grass lumps with people’s lives? I only hope that when these people who part-take in this mindless past-time are caught that the judge multiplies the maximum number of year by the number of passengers and crew that are on board. While I am not a regular airline passenger reading article like this makes my anger reach boiling point. Those discovered by the authorities should be categorised as being mentally unstable, and if a danger to the public should be locked away for life without any possibility of remission for good behaviour. Irresponsible behaviour should not be tolerated no matter where it comes from. Let us not listen to those silly meaningless excuses they come from a broken home Several acquaintances of mine have come from broken homes. Yet they have turned out to be respectable members of the community, and would never consider doing anything this mindless. Lord Newbold
  • Score: 3

1:18pm Tue 25 Mar 14

pudniw_gib says...

Hey WN.. Theres an ad for a laser on this page,, ffs...
Hey WN.. Theres an ad for a laser on this page,, ffs... pudniw_gib
  • Score: 8

2:24pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Hwicce says...

What exactly is the point of these laser pens?
What exactly is the point of these laser pens? Hwicce
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Lord Newbold says...

pudniw_gib wrote:
Hey WN.. Theres an ad for a laser on this page,, ffs...
Laser Pens are like Motor Bikes, In the shop they are quite safe.
However, when someone sits astride a motorcycle that is when it becomes dangerous. Exactly the same with a laser pen if an irresponsible gets hold of one they too become dangerous.
[quote][p][bold]pudniw_gib[/bold] wrote: Hey WN.. Theres an ad for a laser on this page,, ffs...[/p][/quote]Laser Pens are like Motor Bikes, In the shop they are quite safe. However, when someone sits astride a motorcycle that is when it becomes dangerous. Exactly the same with a laser pen if an irresponsible gets hold of one they too become dangerous. Lord Newbold
  • Score: -3

5:38am Wed 26 Mar 14

Guy66 says...

Lord Newbold wrote:
pudniw_gib wrote:
Hey WN.. Theres an ad for a laser on this page,, ffs...
Laser Pens are like Motor Bikes, In the shop they are quite safe.
However, when someone sits astride a motorcycle that is when it becomes dangerous. Exactly the same with a laser pen if an irresponsible gets hold of one they too become dangerous.
My mistress says the same thing about another item that can be dangerous when sat astride :)
[quote][p][bold]Lord Newbold[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pudniw_gib[/bold] wrote: Hey WN.. Theres an ad for a laser on this page,, ffs...[/p][/quote]Laser Pens are like Motor Bikes, In the shop they are quite safe. However, when someone sits astride a motorcycle that is when it becomes dangerous. Exactly the same with a laser pen if an irresponsible gets hold of one they too become dangerous.[/p][/quote]My mistress says the same thing about another item that can be dangerous when sat astride :) Guy66
  • Score: -5

8:14am Wed 26 Mar 14

Lord Newbold says...

@ Guy66
Sir, your comments are somewhat like the exaggerations of the 1950s schoolboys, bragging about their various conquests with girls from their class. Like theirs, your imaginations appear to border on the ridiculous.

I am prepared to wager, that you have never owned or rode a motorcycle of anything resembling a 650 triumph Bonneville. In addition, the only mistress you will have ever known and possibly still do is you’re “Headmistress”.
@ Guy66 Sir, your comments are somewhat like the exaggerations of the 1950s schoolboys, bragging about their various conquests with girls from their class. Like theirs, your imaginations appear to border on the ridiculous. I am prepared to wager, that you have never owned or rode a motorcycle of anything resembling a 650 triumph Bonneville. In addition, the only mistress you will have ever known and possibly still do is you’re “Headmistress”. Lord Newbold
  • Score: -1

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