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JamesF

New laser pen misuse report

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-46029572

What are peoples' thoughts on this one?  I'm struggling with the idea that a legal laser pen could be used to deliberately hit the cockpit windows of an aircraft travelling at maybe 400km/h at an altitude of almost 9km (29,000ft?).   Even more so given that the positioning of the cockpit windows means the point of origin would probably have to be quite a bit further away than 9km.

Illegal power laser?  Deliberate targeting?  Carelessness?

James

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Stupidity comes in many forms.  A friend of mine had a laser beam aimed at him whilst driving through a busy junction at night. Thankfully he was not blinded by it, but a bit shaken by what could have transpired.......

Ed.

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I'm surprised that the laser divergence was so small that it was able to provide significant intensity at this distance.

I'm also surprised that the idiot could hold the beam steady enough to target a part of the aircraft for enough time to be noticed.

To do this you would need a high power laser with very good divergence on a good alt-az mount.

Seems a bit far fetched to me. Perhaps a case of the newspaper not letting the truth get too much in the way of a good story?

David.
 

 

 

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And a very small fast moving target, maybe possible with a laser on mounted scope, a bit like imaging the ISS but doubt if anyone would go to that much trouble to target aircraft, could be an astronomer using a laser pointer accidentally hitting an aircraft I suppose if it happened to fly through the beam.

Dave

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Perhaps Martin can confirm as he's local, but I'd imagine it would have been completely dark at by that time of day given that the clocks had just gone back to GMT so there'd be precious little to aim at deliberately.

James

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At the sort of range most commercially available pointers (even the 1 watt ones) would have a beam divergence of several tens of meters making it relatively harmless, the real issue is with closer targets like helicopters and cars.  

Alan

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There are a few muppits about in our street with laser pens, they shine them through the windows on occasion, but to hit an aircraft cockpit long enough to be a nuisance is doubtful.

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It’s illegally imported  ones like this that are really dangerous.   ☠️

* 15,000m super strong transmission distance
* The world's strongest laser pointer can burn matches, cigarettes, paper, balloon and much more
* Used in astronomy refers to the stars, site measurements, wild adventure, such as make a fire, explore the way, drive away beast
 

 

9E73AA45-B830-4140-A16F-51BA88A49932.jpeg

Edited by johninderby

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1 hour ago, Carbon Brush said:

Seems a bit far fetched to me. Perhaps a case of the newspaper not letting the truth get too much in the way of a good story?

Yeah I agree...but on the other side, anyone doing stupid things like this should be punished.... its m0r0n5 like that that cause strict regulations to be imposed on people who do the right thing... lasers, drones, etc...

 

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21 minutes ago, MarsG76 said:

Yeah I agree...but on the other side, anyone doing stupid things like this should be punished.... its m0r0n5 like that that cause strict regulations to be imposed on people who do the right thing... lasers, drones, etc...

 

They are being punished when caught. A few years back an idiot here in Fife was given a custodial sentence for shining a laser at the aircraft operating from RAF Leuchars. To be a hazard to aviation the laser does not necessarily need to be powerful in terms of its intensity when it reaches the cockpit, it is more to do with the simple fact that it causes distraction to the crew.  Flight crew unions are taking a very aggressive line on incidents like this now, quite rightly in my opinion, and are pursuing legal action where possible .

Jim 

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Usual media hype I'm afraid. The laser would be far more hazardous to a low level helicopter pilot, plane coming in to land or a motorist. At 29,0000 feet the beam will be a few meters in diameter......

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53 minutes ago, saac said:

They are being punished when caught. A few years back an idiot here in Fife was given a custodial sentence for shining a laser at the aircraft operating from RAF Leuchars. To be a hazard to aviation the laser does not necessarily need to be powerful in terms of its intensity when it reaches the cockpit, it is more to do with the simple fact that it causes distraction to the crew.  Flight crew unions are taking a very aggressive line on incidents like this now, quite rightly in my opinion, and are pursuing legal action where possible .

Jim 

Rightly so....

Although I wonder how someone can be pinpointed as the culprit for such a distance when the laser is only on for a few seconds??

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Just now, MarsG76 said:

Rightly so....

Although I wonder how someone can be pinpointed as the culprit for such a distance when the laser is only on for a few seconds??

It all depends on circumstance, usually the perpetrator is caught because well basic stupidity, they hang around the same site and do the same thing again. Ultimately it requires somebody to inform the identity to the police or for the police to catch them in the act. In the case of the incident at RAF Leuchars the culprit was caught by old fashion police work. 

I'd just like to say again that the irradiated power of the laser or beam spread when it reaches the cockpit is largely irrelevant in terms of the act. The simple matter of distracting the crew, at any point during the flight, is without question a wanton act of recklessness and is treated seriously by the law.  Sadly there appears to be a growing number of these incidents.  Similar to flying drones around airfields it beggars belief the stupidity of some people. 

Jim 

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16 minutes ago, saac said:

it beggars belief the stupidity of some people

Yes, exactly

 

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I think drunken pilots are an issue too with many many arrests globally every year the pilots unions never talk to the press about at all - zero.

A licensed drone pilot understands the license can be removed if bad behavior is displayed and an astronomer using a laser knows or should know a low powered laser is better for dark adaptation and does not want to lose his or her ability to use such a productive device. So that brings us to those just toying around with lasers for grins and giggles, hopefully before they the government where you live bans such a device they will give us the same respect as they did the drone pilots and that's a conversion to licenseing so a name address and phone number could help to hold individuals responsible for their actions.

The money, effort and time it takes to get a laser out of the hands of someone acting badly let alone proving and trying the case is enormous considering how cheap and widely available these things are.

Like my laser...Alot, would like to continue using it responsibly and will report anyone not doing the same...do agree there may be some press and union grandstanding about using lasers though.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, SIDO said:

 

...do agree there may be some press and union grandstanding about using lasers though.

 

 

I sure hope so , anything to promote the dangers of this stupidity and make these idiots aware of the penalties has to be a good thing.   Just like the drink driving campaign of old it will change social attitudes. 

Jim 

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Here in Victoria, Australia all hand held lasers are treated as a prohibited weapon and require a Police Permit.

I recently renewed mine at a cost of $200 for three years!!!

I use mine primarily for spectroscope design and testing.......

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6 minutes ago, Merlin66 said:

I recently renewed mine at a cost of $200 for three years!!!

Hope no one from our government reads that, they'll be rubbing their hands together ooo something else we can make money out of, we need an emoji of hands rubbing together :D

Dave

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1 hour ago, saac said:

I sure hope so , anything to promote the dangers of this stupidity and make these idiots aware of the penalties has to be a good thing.   Just like the drink driving campaign of old it will change social attitudes. 

Jim 

( I think drunken pilots are an issue too with many many arrests globally every year the pilots unions never talk to the press - zero )

I think the tipsy pilots and those misguiding lasers deserve equal attention for their transgressions by both the press and the law but not beyond what is realistic and certainly don't agree that over reaching or over reacting ever helps any cause but instead devalues its credibility.

 

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9 hours ago, saac said:

t all depends on circumstance, usually the perpetrator is caught because well basic stupidity, they hang around the same site and do the same thing again. Ultimately it requires somebody to inform the identity to the police or for the police to catch them in the act. In the case of the incident at RAF Leuchars the culprit was caught by old fashion police work. 

I'd just like to say again that the irradiated power of the laser or beam spread when it reaches the cockpit is largely irrelevant in terms of the act. The simple matter of distracting the crew, at any point during the flight, is without question a wanton act of recklessness and is treated seriously by the law.  Sadly there appears to be a growing number of these incidents.  Similar to flying drones around airfields it beggars belief the stupidity of some people. 

Jim 

What he said! ^^^

8 hours ago, SIDO said:

I think drunken pilots are an issue too with many many arrests globally every year the pilots unions never talk to the press about at all - zero.

Not sure how this relates to the issue? Two wrongs don't make a right...

8 hours ago, SIDO said:

do agree there may be some press and union grandstanding about using lasers though.

What's there to grandstand about? Shining a laser at an aircraft is bad!

Mkay.jpg.3f73bbc8033b35b5c334bc4c793aa900.jpg

So is shining a laser at lots of other things. Whether lasers should be licensed or not is another question. The fact that some people do these things requires that attention is brought to the issue to ensure it does not become more widespread. Surely there is nothing wrong about that?

Edited by AngryDonkey

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These idiots are everywhere. We had a laser 'strike' in Oxfordshire a few weeks ago

https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/17002406.raf-helicopter-hit-by-laser-beam-in-wantage/

Of course the issue is one of pilots being dazzled and losing their dark adaption for a while, rather than injury (though that is also a concern), so I guess the laser doesn't need to be that powerful.

8 hours ago, Davey-T said:

Hope no one from our government reads that, they'll be rubbing their hands together ooo something else we can make money out of, we need an emoji of hands rubbing together :D

Dave

As usual it'll be the law-abiding that end up paying, rather than the imbeciles who will buy off t'internet and not register. And would it ever get policed in our present climate?

Ian

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