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A heads up for laser users


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This story has come up on the news today and might be worth reading if you use a laser pointer.

Arrest after laser shone at pilot

A man has been arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft after the pilot of a police helicopter was temporarily blinded while at the controls.

The helicopter was helping chase a vehicle in the Lancashire area.

While the pilot was flying over Nelson the beam from a laser pen was shone into his eyes. He could not see and was forced to take evasive action.

The pilot directed ground patrols to the area, where a 45-year-old man was arrested for endangering an aircraft.

Lancashire Police said the incident on Wednesday night could have resulted in a crash and multiple injuries or deaths.

The man, from Nelson, is currently in custody and will be questioned by police later.

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Such arrests usually occur when the pointer is deliberately held at the pilots eye, which is usually proven by the fact that when the pilot moves, chases height etc etc the laser is still in their eyes.

I think for simply point it at the sky you are fine.

A man in London was arrested for this a while ago and put in prison, however he nearly crashed the helicopter and had a previous conviction for the same thing - agaion however it was sustained shining in the eyes which did it.

Better to be safe than sorry and maybe turn off the laser when not finding an object.

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"My client, as a decent upstanding citizen, was doing his part in helping to fight crime, by carrying out, and may I point out, without charge for his services, an otherwise expensive laser eye treatment, with the intention of helping the pilot to improve his obvious short sightedness. And that concludes the argument of the defence...."

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The local fuzz chopper round here some times does practice hovers over an allotment at the rear of our house. Fine you might say but it's very very noisy especially at 2 to 3 am in the morning. They could also be investigating a local fox looking for worms etc there. In some ways I would rather use a howitzer. Off Topic but everyone should be very careful with where they point a laser of any sort.

John

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Blimey! - literally a few minutes from doing a buy now for a GLP on the 'Bay. Think I'll just stick to my red dot finder now - does the job fine. Sounds like the clamp down on the use of GLP's wont be far off with this sort of incident.

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I think though, when you take this into perspective, the amount of laser users in this country, compared to the odd idiot who thinks its funny to do what they did to that helicopter pilot gives you the knowledge that the vast vast majority use theirs with caution.

I think this guy got his just reward for an act of total negligence, if that helicopter would have come down, imagine the carnage and of course they only carry the one pilot so no one else could have done anything to help.

I always remember a few years ago, I do aircraft scanning as another hobby, this is done with a reciever, however, some people thought it was really funny to buy a transceiver and then chat over Civillian aircraft frequencies whilst the pilots were being given instructions by air traffic controllers, basically, it opened up a debate as to the legal issues totally for anyone with a radio, irrespective of the way in which they used them.

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the use of the green laser should really be restricted. If its made too cheap by retail outlets and too many ppl know of its power then there would be an exodus of ppl buying them, which would result in the general ban of their use.

This would be a shame since i find them invaluable for showing children around the sky, they can actually point at what they want to know about rather than using the finger.

Saying that they are certainly a dangerous tool in the wrong hands

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use a green laser to align my GOTO, I select three bright stars then switch it off. I find it is brilliant, so much easier to use than a red dot fiddler.

I would like to say that you would have to be a special kind of stupid to shine one at a POLICE helicopter.

However, I feel that a lot of people are shouting BAN them too quickly. It is easy to want to ban something if it won´t affect you. (I would love to see a total ban on all kinds of tobacco.) Yobs will still put concrete blocks on railway lines, yet no-one calls for a ban on concrete.

Restricting the use of green lasers for astronomical purposes only would suit me OK, but that would be totally selfish.

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