Laser attacks on aircraft.

#1
This doesn't seem to have been mentioned before. I heard on the news just now that someone had been sentenced for an attack on an aircraft with a laser beam. Doing a Google News search, it seems this has been happening ........

......... in Portsmouth:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/8383360.stm

....... in Liverpool:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/8378433.stm

....... in Gloucestershire:

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co...heltenham/article-1540130-detail/article.html

....... in Essex:

http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/4763191.More_laser_attacks_on_Essex_police_helicopter_pilots/


........ in Vancouver:

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Aircraft+near+repeatedly+targeted+laser+beams/2263382/story.html

I will have a proper read of the news reports. I'm not trying to start another outrage, but this sounds a horrendous thing to do.

Is there any way of preventing this? or damage limitation?
 
#3
bovvy said:
Is there any way of preventing this? or damage limitation?
Not much really. The rozzers need proof to prosecute and unless its a sting operation from a known point/regular offender, its nigh on impossible to get anything useful done. Its usually from a pissed of resident who thinks he'll just discourage an aircraft flying around his house. He fails to realise the damage he could potentially do.

I think the only realistic cure is to educate people better, for us to try and fly a little bit more neighbourly and an example to be made of at least one person to demonstrate its a serious offence and isn't taken lightly. We had a problem person a little while back. A farmer who got pissed off with us constantly night flying over his house (quite understandable but it is impossible to avoid every house in a very crowded UK). We informed the police. They couldnt do anything unless there was evidence.

Even an Apache gun camera video isn't good enough. So the only solution was to educate. Pay him a visit (a nice PR one, not a baseball bat type of one!), show him a set of NVG and let him see what effect it has on the image and what it could do to the pilots vision. Seemed to work as he had no idea that it caused that sort of thing. Not going to work for every scroat but it may at least help a few.
 
#6
I was totally naive about this sort of thing happening. I'm quite shocked. (Some years back I was given one of those little ones with a red beam and knew not to point it at anyone's eyes.)

Thank you Flasheart. That gives me some insight.

And, according to MSR's first link, it happens a lot:

"During 2008, there were 26 reported cases in the north west, compared with only four the previous year."

And car drivers can be targetted.

I see that one of the legitimate uses is for astromomers to point out constellations and stars in the night sky:

http://www.greenlaserbeam.com/

But it wouldn't shine into a cockpit by accident, would it?

I have no idea of how disabling or hazardous the effect might be (and wouldn't wish to find out). I rather enjoy helicopters flying over my house ....... and hope some stupid t0sser with a laser wouldn't cause one to drop through my roof.
 
#7
bovvy said:
But it wouldn't shine into a cockpit by accident, would it?

I have no idea of how disabling or hazardous the effect might be (and wouldn't wish to find out). I rather enjoy helicopters flying over my house ....... and hope some stupid t0sser with a laser wouldn't cause one to drop through my roof.
Legit astronomers wouldnt pose a problem as a very short blip of a green laser wouldnt cause an issue (cab flying along passing through a beam etc and would have to be a very good and lucky shot). Because green lasers are so readily available now, every man and dog can get hold of them and think its a good idea to shine it towards an aircraft. NVG intensify available light and if a laser is shined in to a tube, you can image the magnified light is horrendous and can cause serious injury to the inside of the eye. Permanent damage. If an aircraft is flying low and slow (which is the usual tac profile) it can be quite easy to target the cockpit. Think of a situation where an aircraft is approaching a set of high tension wires (very hard to see on NVG anyway, you only actually see the pylons) and a dazzle occurs, there is a very high probability of a catastrophe. Even if it doesnt cause the aircraft to crash, the eye ball could be permanently damaged.

It really is a case of educating the fuckers to the harm they can potentially cause. Sure, its annoying having a helicopter fly over your house at night but its a darn sight less annoying than that aircraft spreading itself all over whatever council estate the laser has emitted from. If people dont want helicopters flying near their house, they should either phone the police direct or phone the Low Flying Complaints hot line. We take it seriously if a complaint comes in and will adjust our routes accordingly. I would like to see a national campaign on TV highlighting the issue. If it prevents an accident, it'll be worth it.
 
#8
The-Lord-Flasheart said:
bovvy said:
Is there any way of preventing this? or damage limitation?
Not much really. The rozzers need proof to prosecute and unless its a sting operation from a known point/regular offender, its nigh on impossible to get anything useful done. Its usually from a pissed of resident who thinks he'll just discourage an aircraft flying around his house. He fails to realise the damage he could potentially do.

I think the only realistic cure is to educate people better, for us to try and fly a little bit more neighbourly and an example to be made of at least one person to demonstrate its a serious offence and isn't taken lightly. We had a problem person a little while back. A farmer who got pissed off with us constantly night flying over his house (quite understandable but it is impossible to avoid every house in a very crowded UK). We informed the police. They couldnt do anything unless there was evidence.

Even an Apache gun camera video isn't good enough. So the only solution was to educate. Pay him a visit (a nice PR one, not a baseball bat type of one!), show him a set of NVG and let him see what effect it has on the image and what it could do to the pilots vision. Seemed to work as he had no idea that it caused that sort of thing. Not going to work for every scroat but it may at least help a few.
So a pilot should also be scapegoated to show pilots that we aren't going to tolerate biggles up, de la up uping and down de ad down downing all over the skyline?

After all a pilot will know (or I would like to think they do) what effect they have on the ground.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#9
There is an easy, direct action remedy.

When on holiday in Spain, Greece, Thailand or anywhere else; when one spots a family, and Mum and Dad have bought their drooling offspring laser pens to keep he little darlings amused, and they are amusing themselves by zapping buildings, hills, cars, people etc....

Walk up and deck the tossers. Then do their kids.
 
#10
TheIronDuke said:
There is an easy, direct action remedy.

When on holiday in Spain, Greece, Thailand or anywhere else; when one spots a family, and Mum and Dad have bought their drooling offspring laser pens to keep he little darlings amused, and they are amusing themselves by zapping buildings, hills, cars, people etc....

Walk up and deck the tossers. Then do their kids.
Or any car booty.Which seem to be rife with the cnuts :lol:
 
#11
chocolate_frog said:
So a pilot should also be scapegoated to show pilots that we aren't going to tolerate biggles up, de la up uping and down de ad down downing all over the skyline?

After all a pilot will know (or I would like to think they do) what effect they have on the ground.
What biggles like antics are you on about? Are you on about low flying in general or are you just jumping on the media bandwagon surrounding the wrecklessness demonstrated by the recent Puma/Catterick accident? If its the former, you dont know what you're on about and if its the second one, I'm glad your opinions and views are limited to an online website.

They are 'scapegoated'. They usually dont live to tell the tale though.

Do you suggest we ban all low flying in the UK? I'm not too sure what you are referring to with 'what effect they have on the ground'?
 
#13
Couldnt we hire that feck off jumbo with the 50 megawatt laser thingy in it? That would sort the scroats out - hard to find the dole office when your blind.
 
#15
The-Lord-Flasheart said:
chocolate_frog said:
So a pilot should also be scapegoated to show pilots that we aren't going to tolerate biggles up, de la up uping and down de ad down downing all over the skyline?

After all a pilot will know (or I would like to think they do) what effect they have on the ground.
What biggles like antics are you on about? Are you on about low flying in general or are you just jumping on the media bandwagon surrounding the wrecklessness demonstrated by the recent Puma/Catterick accident? If its the former, you dont know what you're on about and if its the second one, I'm glad your opinions and views are limited to an online website.

They are 'scapegoated'. They usually dont live to tell the tale though.

Do you suggest we ban all low flying in the UK? I'm not too sure what you are referring to with 'what effect they have on the ground'?
Not at all.

First you suggest a highly sensible idea of teh various residents being brought 'on side' by neighbourly flying... then suggest 'scapegoating' a resident. Which would no doubt alienate the residents.....

We often have a heli hovering over us, viewing the motorway. But it hovers in an area that there are no houses underneath, and on one occcaision when the etire street was illuminated by the spotlight (by mistake I assume as it was just one stroke) we receeived apologoy letters, explaining what teh heli dioes in general, and specifically on the night in question.
 
#16
The link (article April 2009) posted by MSR claims that the CAA has launched a campaign:

Crackdown on laser attacks on pilots
Paul R Taylor
APRIL 10, 2009

PILOTS have reported a dramatic increase in the number of times laser pens are shone into their cockpits around Manchester airport.

Twelve aircraft were targeted last year – many during take-offs and landings. They included 10 jumbo jets carrying thousands of passengers.

The Civil Aviation Authority has launched a campaign to tackle the growing problem, which it says poses a significant risk.

During 2008, there were 26 reported cases in the north west, compared with only four the previous year.

Greater Manchester Police’s helicopter was also targeted twice last year and on both occasions the culprits, who used hand-held lasers which temporarily blinded the pilots, were jailed.

Pinpoint

The CAA campaign aims to highlight the penalties those convicted can face. A new device is also being given to police forces across the country, which can pinpoint the exact location where the laser beam originates and take a photo that can be used for prosecution.

Bob Jones, CAA head of flight operations, 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 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 very serious risk to flight safety.”

Last year Peter Newsham, 44, and Dean Bottomley, 21, were both jailed for four months each after admitting recklessly endangering an aircraft.

They had both shone laser pens into the cockpit of GMP’s police helicopter on separate occasions, temporarily blinding the pilot and crew and forcing them to take evasive manoeuvres.

Dazzled

Father-of-five Newsham, of Winterford Avenue, Manchester, shone the laser, which has a range of 6,000ft, into the cockpit at least three times.

Captain Mark Westwood said he had been dazzled by a brilliant green beam as he flew above Reddish, Stockport, in April. The light left him unable to read instruments or see reference points outside the aircraft.

He was forced to manoeuvre the craft while temporarily blinded to escape the line of the beam. Newsham claimed he had shone the £15 pen into the skies to show his son what it could do, but had not seen the helicopter.

Judge Adrian Smith, sentencing, said Newsham’s actions could have had ’fatal’ and ’catastrophic’ consequences, both for the three-man crew and the people on the ground below in a built-up urban area.

As with Bottomley, the crew directed officers on the ground to the address where the beam was shone from and they made the arrest.

The malicious use of laser against aircraft has become a global problem in recent years with reports of incidents in the US, Australia, Canada and Britain.

Targeted

In 2007, there were only 29 incidents across the country, compared with 206 last year and 26 in the north west.

Pilots using John Lennon Airport in Liverpool were also targeted, as were those flying above Newcastle, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The CAA, Greater Manchester Police and government departments have joined forces to track down those responsible.

The figures are taken from mandatory occurrence reports submitted to the CAA by pilots and air traffic controllers.
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1107747_crackdown_on_laser_attacks_on_pilots

I don't know how many folks are aware of this kind of criminal activity? Last night's news was the first I'd ever heard of it. 8O Though there's quite a bit of info on t'web:

http://www.theinsider.org/news/article.asp?id=872

I wonder if greater publicity/education would tempt more malicious, thoughtless scrotes to give the practice a go; as in "Here Darren!! It'd be a fcuking laugh to get one of them laser pens and p1ss off them pilots. Innit?" :omfg:
 
#17
How do we know this is not the work of Dr. Evil?
 
#18
It seems that many of these attacks are on Rozzer Helicopters and wonder if (perhaps with the exception of the suburban great and the good, bothered by the noise disturbing their sleep) the perpetrators are "Filf-haters".

Which made me wonder whether the people flying "Filf Choppers" were qualified pilots? .......... or pilots who had done a couple of weekends :wink: training to be rozzers? ........... or rozzers who had done a couple of weekends :wink: training to fly choppers?

Not sure this makes it any clearer: :?

http://www.premiair.co.uk/police_air_support_home.asp?NavID=3

('Cos this is a septic site: http://www.policehelicopterpilot.com/how-to-become-a-police-helicop/ )
 
#19
they are mostly ex-mil
skill set needed quite hard and expensive to come by on civiy street. they are used to earning peanuts compared with civvy pilots and They know more or less everybody.
ffs 93 pages to teach a copper to ride a bike anyone think how big a book would be to teach a copper to fly a wokka :twisted:


£40 will buy you a laser with a range of 100 miles :x
 

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