A Virgin Atlantic flight was forced to abandon its flight from London to New York after it was “hit by a laser strike.”
Shortly into the flight, a pilot — which had departed from the capital’s Heathrow airport — made a distress call confirming that the 15 crew and 252 passengers on board flight VS025 needed to return to London as a precaution.
He calmly explained the situation to Irish air traffic control: “We had a medical issue with one of the pilots after a laser incident after takeoff. We’re going back to Heathrow,” he said, according to an audio. sound recording of drama.
Metropolitan Police bad officer, who described the incident as a “hit the laser”, slammed the use of lasers in the cockpits of aircraft. “When you point a laser at an airplane you are putting the lives of hundreds of people at risk. # think about your actions!” Scotland Yard tweetedfollowing the event.
Virgin Atlantic—which is working with the Met to try to find the source of the laser—said in a statement that “the safety of our crew and our customers is our top priority,” and apologized for any inconvenience caused.
According to the British Airline Pilots Association, laser incidents have been very difficult to police. “To date only a few of the perpetrators of a laser incident have been charged and convicted of this crime. Despite continued efforts by law enforcement to stop and arrest perpetrators, 1,440 reported laser attacks on aircraft in the UK and more than 3,800 in the US in 2014 alone,” he tell.
A laser strike can affect drivers in several ways, including flash blindness, BAPA added. The group said:
For many cases of cockpit lighting by lasers, the potential for a specific accident exists but the fact that there have been no laser-related accidents to date (October 2015) indicates that the risk associated with the laser current can be controlled successfully.
As power increases so does the area of potential consequences. Technologies exist to reduce the effects of lasers, but they are still immature, do not provide full protection and are unlikely to be installed on aircraft decks in the foreseeable future.
Offenders who light a laser on an aircraft can face a summary offense under two Air Navigation Regulations articles. The second of these—ANO article 137—can lead to imprisonment. He said: “No one must be careless or negligent in a manner that could offend the aircraft, or anyone on the aircraft.”
Last month, in the US, a man was convicted six months in prison and three years of supervised release after he aimed a laser at a police helicopter. In October last year, a Californian “knucklehead” was sued five years in prison for laser pointers in emergency helicopters.
Image listing by Adrian Pingston