Laser pen dazzlers putting lives at risk

Laser pen dazzlers putting lives at risk

Laser pen dazzlers putting lives at risk

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Eastleigh Chief Reporter

LIVES are being put in “severe danger” by pranksters shining lasers at passenger planes near Southampton Airport.

Police have been called twice in two days to reports that green laser beams are being directed at aircraft flying over the Eastleigh area.

Now there are fears the lives of passengers and crew are being put at risk with the lights capable of causing glare in the cockpit and – at higher levels – temporary ‘flash blindness’.

If caught, offenders can face up to five years in jail under the Air Navigation Act 2009.

The first incident was reported on November 11 at around 5.20pm when a laser was directed at the cockpit of a plane flying at 7,000 ft. It is believed the light was coming from the north-west area of Eastleigh.

A second incident took place the following night at around 7pm when a light was shone at an aircraft travelling at 400ft.

A police spokesman said: “Through our plotting of the strikes we believe the lasers are being shone from around the South Hiltingbury area.

These incidents put the aircraft and lives of crew and passengers in severe danger.

“Endangering an aircraft will not be tolerated.

“We are proactively working to identify who is responsible, prevent further incidents and those responsible can expect a robust response. It is a criminal offence to shine laser pens at aircraft and those responsible face possible arrest and prosecution.

“I’m sure someone in the Eastleigh area knows who is responsible and I would urge them to contact us on 101 immediately.”

Even though laser pens project small dots close up, at longer distances, the beam can be many inches across and the light can spread out further on hitting the windscreen of cockpits.

Southampton Airport declined to comment about the two incidents.

Witnesses or anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Comments (8)

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11:55am Thu 15 Nov 12

Nutstrangler says...

"Pranksters" ?... What sort of mealy-mouthed word is this to describe the sort of moron that gets up to acts like this ? Homicidal maniacs would be more suitable....imagine a passenger aircraft with a blinded flight crew, crashing into a populated area.
"Pranksters" ?... I don't think so !
"Pranksters" ?... What sort of mealy-mouthed word is this to describe the sort of moron that gets up to acts like this ? Homicidal maniacs would be more suitable....imagine a passenger aircraft with a blinded flight crew, crashing into a populated area. "Pranksters" ?... I don't think so ! Nutstrangler
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Thu 15 Nov 12

10 Minute Man says...

reporting it just encourages it.
reporting it just encourages it. 10 Minute Man
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Thu 15 Nov 12

wossit says...

That must take some doing from hiltingbury, thats got to be a distance of over a mile on a target no bigger than a meter square travelling at 150 mphs !
That must take some doing from hiltingbury, thats got to be a distance of over a mile on a target no bigger than a meter square travelling at 150 mphs ! wossit
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Shoong says...

Surely there's a market for something that can reduce the glare of these pens on the cockpit windows if possible..? Maybe reflect it?

Take it too the manufacturers, just remember who gave you the idea.. :)
Surely there's a market for something that can reduce the glare of these pens on the cockpit windows if possible..? Maybe reflect it? Take it too the manufacturers, just remember who gave you the idea.. :) Shoong
  • Score: 0

2:25pm Thu 15 Nov 12

bazzeroz says...

Its hardly a 'PRANK' is it? Knocking someones door and running away is a prank! This is attempted murder. Catch the p.ricks and lock them up.
Its hardly a 'PRANK' is it? Knocking someones door and running away is a prank! This is attempted murder. Catch the p.ricks and lock them up. bazzeroz
  • Score: 0

4:02pm Thu 15 Nov 12

bigfella777 says...

They should send up a couple of Tornado GR4's and target them with laser guided bombs, see how they like them apples.
They should send up a couple of Tornado GR4's and target them with laser guided bombs, see how they like them apples. bigfella777
  • Score: 0

4:21pm Thu 15 Nov 12

wossit says...

I like the fact that the Google ad at the side of the article is selling green laser pointers for £11.99. Now thats responsable advertising !!
I like the fact that the Google ad at the side of the article is selling green laser pointers for £11.99. Now thats responsable advertising !! wossit
  • Score: 0

3:37am Fri 16 Nov 12

Poppy22 says...

Nutstrangler wrote:
"Pranksters" ?... What sort of mealy-mouthed word is this to describe the sort of moron that gets up to acts like this ? Homicidal maniacs would be more suitable....imagine a passenger aircraft with a blinded flight crew, crashing into a populated area. "Pranksters" ?... I don't think so !
Exactly! It's terrorism really.
Didn't realise that those awful chinese lanterns are banned in all of the Eastleigh Borough (must be in all/most of Southampton Borough too) due to the possibility of endangering lives in aircraft.
Great news as they're also a major fire and wildlife hazard!
[quote][p][bold]Nutstrangler[/bold] wrote: "Pranksters" ?... What sort of mealy-mouthed word is this to describe the sort of moron that gets up to acts like this ? Homicidal maniacs would be more suitable....imagine a passenger aircraft with a blinded flight crew, crashing into a populated area. "Pranksters" ?... I don't think so ![/p][/quote]Exactly! It's terrorism really. Didn't realise that those awful chinese lanterns are banned in all of the Eastleigh Borough (must be in all/most of Southampton Borough too) due to the possibility of endangering lives in aircraft. Great news as they're also a major fire and wildlife hazard! Poppy22
  • Score: 0

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