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1stspotter
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Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:17 pm

Virgin VIR25B LHR-JFK had to return to London because medical emercency of one of the pilots. He got laser light in his eye during the departure. Pilot declared a PAN when the aircraft was controled by Shannon ATC.
Listen to the emergency here . The laser was located about 6-7 miles west of Heathrow

http://airportwebcams.net/VS25B.mp3

[Edited 2016-02-14 14:18:40]

[Edited 2016-02-14 14:19:19]

[Edited 2016-02-14 14:19:50]
 
Gazdon121
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:43 pm

The risk these people put aircraft in when they shine a laser pen into the cockpit is so serious. i would love to punch the culprit in the face
 
Gazdon121
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:44 pm

aircraft has just returned
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:37 pm

This is like people who cut across train tracks. Physics does not care about intent but many of these people do not understand this. Even if deadly crashes happen I doubt we'll see the end of these things.

I would be interested to see if glass manufacturers are looking into films or other systems intended to block the wavelengths of the common laser pointers. However there may be side effects with such treatments as they may block out useful wavelengths.
 
32andBelow
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:47 pm

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 3):
This is like people who cut across train tracks.

Um what? Totally different.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:08 am

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 4):
Um what? Totally different.

They do not understand the consequences of their actions as physics does not care if you were just doing it for a laugh or didn't want to wait. That is why I made the connection.
 
747megatop
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:24 am

Quoting Gazdon121 (Reply 1):

The risk these people put aircraft in when they shine a laser pen into the cockpit is so serious. i would love to punch the culprit in the face

Since laser is a harmful thing when handed to the untrained common person; i seriously think authorities everywhere should curtail the production and distribution of every day devices like laser pointers. Whoever desgined these products is down right dumb for not thinking what happens when untrained people without common sense are handed these devices. I say this because of incidents like these - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-0...n-burns-retinas-with-laser/6916564

It is so common to see kids playfully shine flashlights at others and cars. A laser pointer in their hands makes it that much more dangerous to others.
 
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Boeing778X
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:29 am

Quoting 1stspotter (Thread starter):
He got laser light in his eye during the departure.

Green lasers are especially hazardous! You'd think with all these incidents, people would get a clue.

I hope it was just a kid, because anyone older than 10 should know better!  
United Airlines: $#!ttin' On Everyone Since 1931
 
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Siren
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:25 am

I had an incident with a laser a few months ago, and I can vouch for the danger. My grandmother (94 years old) was given a combination flashlight and laser pointer for Christmas... she didn't understand the dangers of the laser (fortunately a red one), and she turned it on. I tried to tell her to turn it off, and as she was fumbling with it to get the laser turned off, it managed to swing right across my right eye for a fraction of a section. Instant pain, which I'd describe as a burning. Fortunately there seems to have been no damage done - just some eye pain for 6 hours after that happened.

I can only imagine how bad a green or blue laser would be. I own a green laser pointer, and it is incredibly powerful - and incredibly cheap. I paid something like $15 for it, three years ago? And the prices have only gone down since.

Back when they were expensive, the riffraff wasn't able to purchase it as a toy... I think they should continue to be available, but increase the price. Make it so that those without the means can't obtain one - and these kinds of incidents will go down dramatically.

If somebody scores a hit with a blue laser at close range into a flight deck.... that may well take the plane down. They'd be flying by the braille.
 
Skydrol
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:42 am

The news was just reporting high-powered green lasers are being aimed at airplanes quite frequently in the YYZ / Toronto airspace. Apparently this is doing permanent damage to pilots' eyes, but police state it is almost impossible to track down the culprits, since it could be from a mile or more away.




LD4
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nomadd22
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:45 am

How about treating people who shine lasers at planes the same as if they'd fired a rifle at it. Absolving them of criminal responsibility by claiming they don't know what they're doing isn't going to help. Stupidity isn't an excuse for potentially homicidal actions. And trying to prevent harm by rendering everybody harmless is the worst form of government.

[Edited 2016-02-14 20:46:20]
Anon
 
yodobashi
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:33 am

Quoting Gazdon121 (Reply 1):
i would love to punch the culprit in the face

Personally I prefer the clank of a shiny metal spade, flat in the face ....

Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 7):
I hope it was just a kid, because anyone older than 10 should know better!

And if it was a kid, god up us all if there's parents who let their small children play with a laser!

In all seriousness, this needs a high profile case whereby an individual is tried and jailed for several years - plastered across the front of the newspapers and on national TV, for all to see.

Lock them up and throw away the key!
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page"
 
Dufo
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:05 am

Similar problem as with cheap drones. Accessible to anyone, both financially and legally. At least it has been recently proved that such illuminations don't pose long-term damage to eyes.
I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
 
Grummancat
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:17 am

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 3):
This is like people who cut across train tracks.

THOSE people usually only kill THEMSELVES. THIS endangers the lives of other people, with little to no safety risk to the perpetrator.
 
AR385
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:19 am

I was listening on LiveATC last Friday the comms between AZ4000 (The Pope´s plane) while on approach into MEX and the Italian pilot reported to Approach that a green laser was being pointed into their cockpit. He sounded pretty pissed. Imagine if some serious issue occurred to THAT PLANE while landing due to some idiot with a laser pointing it at planes that does not know better.

[Edited 2016-02-14 22:23:08]
 
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LTU932
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:06 am

Isn't there a way to create windshields, or some protective sheets for windshields that effectively counteract these laser strikes, protecting the pilots?
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
iahcsr
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:09 am

Given the nature of lasers even a very low power one will travel a long distance. I wonder if manufacturers could design a means to inhibit beam power to a much shorter range.
Working Hard, Flying Right Friendly....
 
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FredrikHAD
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:37 am

Quoting Dufo (Reply 12):
At least it has been recently proved that such illuminations don't pose long-term damage to eyes.

I'd sure like to see a source for that statement. There are several different laser radiation classes, and some green lasers are class 4 devices (first Google hit is a class 4):

http://www.wickedlasers.com/arctic
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_safety

"Class 4 is the highest and most dangerous class of laser, including all lasers that exceed the Class 3B AEL. By definition, a class 4 laser can burn the skin, or cause devastating and permanent eye damage as a result of direct, diffuse or indirect beam viewing."

Distance does decrease the effects of a laser, but that all depends on how well focused the laser is. Cheap lasers should disperse the beam more and be less damaging at a given distance, but may well be powerful and focused enough to do real damage at a distance of a mile or two.

Protective glasses need to protect from virtually all colours/wavelengths, since lasers are available in different colours (red, and yellow (both low power), green, blue and purple being the most common ones). The most uncommon laser colour is yellow, so having a yellow visor filter might do the trick in most circumstances. A tailored wavelength filter visor (or glasses) would probably be very expensive and would probably filter out important colours in the displays. Perhaps a visor in combination with a "laser mode" in the colour setting of the cockpit displays could do the trick. The "laser mode" would then only use black and white or perhaps some other non-filtered colour to create the contrast needed when using the visor.

Are pilots normally using the windows to actually look out during climb? I'd imagine they'd be focusing on instruments and communications. If so, one might consider electronically tainted glass á la B787 in all cockpits. Just push a button if you need to have a look outside and combine with certain modes to have the shades automatically turn on or off. You could also have automatic shading if a laser is detected by an external detector (normally the laser flickers around, just occasionally hitting the actual window).

My question is how the lasers can hit the pilots when they're climbing out of an airport. The climb angle is pretty high and from my very limited experience, with the small windows in cockpits you don't see much even on approach unless you sit up properly and sort of stretch to get your eyes above the "dashboard" (correct?). Are pilots mostly hit by reflections of the laser or are they indeed hit by the direct beams?

/Fredrik
 
VapourTrails
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:09 am

Quoting Siren (Reply 8):
I can only imagine how bad a green or blue laser would be. I own a green laser pointer, and it is incredibly powerful - and incredibly cheap. I paid something like $15 for it, three years ago? And the prices have only gone down since.

Back when they were expensive, the riffraff wasn't able to purchase it as a toy... I think they should continue to be available, but increase the price. Make it so that those without the means can't obtain one - and these kinds of incidents will go down dramatically.

Another incident, and one too many, with these devices in the wrong hands.  

Yes, I agree, with the the price mention.

I have actually used one of these devices, I think it was a blue one. It was in connection with astronomy club circles. IIRC it was at least AUD$200, and was relatively easy to obtain, too easy I thought, in the larger scheme of things. I used it way, way out in the country, and OMG it is a powerful instrument. I can see the fixation that some irresponsible people can have with it. It was like when we were kids, and were told not to play with matches.. for want of a better analogy.

Quoting Dufo (Reply 12):

Similar problem as with cheap drones. Accessible to anyone, both financially and legally.

I really hope it doesn't take a serious accident with hundreds of lives lost before something is done with the laser pointer, and the drone in uncapable hands.  
 
psolk
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:04 pm

My only confusion with this is why it took so long to Pan Pan Pan and return? You would have thought if the FO was hit in the eye 6-7 miles from departure they would have returned immediately. It appears they flew for another hour then turned back. Am I missing something?
Thanks!
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:48 pm

There must be a way that a laser shot could be instantly traced back to its source from the aircraft. It is going to take someone being sent to prison for along stretch for the message to get through.

I am afraid it is just a matter of time before an airplane full of innocent people is killed by someone getting their kicks.
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
 
oly720man
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:58 pm

Quoting psolk (Reply 19):

I presume he wanted to see if his eyes felt better, or any ghost/after images cleared up.

Surprised it wasn't reported at the time it happened, but I expect departing LHR is enough to be going on with.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
DAL763ER
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:00 pm

I'm sorry but I don't get how a climbing aircraft at 8000 feet could be affected by laser. No cheap laser someone would own is probably capable of such a thing. I used to believe in the laser issue, and I do think people doing this should be prosecuted and/or criminalized.

However, an AA pilot I have great respect for wrote a blog post about this a while ago:

https://jethead.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/airline-scare-in-the-air-laser-mythology/

Is he wrong? It's definitely more likely to get hit on approach than departure but, really, at 8000 feet?
 
jayunited
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:47 pm

Quoting psolk (Reply 19):
My only confusion with this is why it took so long to Pan Pan Pan and return? You would have thought if the FO was hit in the eye 6-7 miles from departure they would have returned immediately. It appears they flew for another hour then turned back. Am I missing something?
Thanks!

I'm not sure but perhaps the pilot call out Pan Pan because the FO was the one actually in control of the aircraft at the time he was hit. It must have been a serious issue at the time for the pilot to call out a Pan Pan and perhaps after assessing the situation the pilot decided that the safest course of action was to dump fuel to avoid an over weight landing. That is the only reason I think the pilot would call Pan Pan is because the FO was the one actually flying the plane. But I could be completely wrong as well.
 
kalvado
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:04 pm

Quoting FredrikHAD (Reply 17):

Protective glasses need to protect from virtually all colours/wavelengths, since lasers are available in different colours (red, and yellow (both low power), green, blue and purple being the most common ones). The most uncommon laser colour is yellow, so having a yellow visor filter might do the trick in most circumstances. A tailored wavelength filter

Not really. 532 nm DPSS is probably most common high-visibility green laser. However laser safety glasses for that wavelength block a lot of visible light, and probably would make flying a bit too difficult. Besides, green lights would be obstructed - and I am not sure how that would affect safety
 
kalvado
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:17 pm

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 22):
I'm sorry but I don't get how a climbing aircraft at 8000 feet could be affected by laser.

If you align the thing properly, you get diffraction limited spot size.
For 1 mm aperture, 500 nm wavelength (green) and 10 km (30 k feet) distance, laser spot size would be 5e-7/1e-3*1e4=5meters, about 20 feet. A bit shorter distance and larger aperture can give a spot only one person would see. attacker would need to aim real well to hit anything specific, though.
now, unlike other bright light sources, laser can focus into a single spot - I mean single photosensitive cell - in the eye, and that is where problem comes from.
 
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flybynight
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:05 pm

Lasers should be regulated like a gun. It should be registered where the authorities can track potential criminal use. What if both pilots had been injured?

Also, kids can shine this directly into the eyes of another person.

I am surprised it doesn't happen more often with cars which in some ways could be even worse since it will have immediate consequences.
Heia Norge!
 
Dufo
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:06 pm

I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
 
traindoc
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:49 am

Unfortunately these laser attacks will probably become more frequent. Why? Because idiocy begets idiocy! So when an idiot reads about a laser attack, he thinks how cool, why I don't I try it! No matter that someone could be blinded, or a plane could crash. And since there are far more idiots than law enforcement, it will be impossible to stop them!

So that means defensive meadures are needed. Are there glasses/goggles that pilots could wear when they are at vunerable altitudes? Obviously, they still need to see well enough to be able to safely fly their aircraft.

How about a "Dirty Harry" approach to the problem! A laser guided missle on the belly of commercial aircraft that will track back to the origin of a the laser beam! However, the collateral damage would make this solution unacceptable.      
 
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FredrikHAD
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:52 am

Quoting traindoc (Reply 28):
A laser guided missle on the belly of commercial aircraft that will track back to the origin of a the laser beam! However, the collateral damage would make this solution unacceptable.

How about balloons on (well, beside) approach paths with anti-laser lasers? Those could pinpoint the location and send a distracting (but not damaging) laser beam to the origin of the offending laser, along with a call to local law enforcement.

Regarding filters, it is quite possible to construct filters that are as narrow as a few nm (nano meters) in wavelength, but the narrower, the more expensive. I still wonder how the laser beam can get inside the cockpit on climb and hit the eyes of the pilot. Thoughts?

/Fredrik
 
ogre727
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:11 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 14):
Imagine if some serious issue occurred to THAT PLANE while landing due to some idiot with a laser pointing it at planes that does not know better.

I'm sorry, but how is THAT plane more important than any other? It'd be as serious if it were any other plane.
I am between the devil and the deep blue sea
 
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FredrikHAD
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:06 pm

Quoting ogre727 (Reply 30):
I'm sorry, but how is THAT plane more important than any other? It'd be as serious if it were any other plane.

I'd imagine the consequences could get out of hand due to the Pope's religous status. Such consequences are not limited to him alone, but could potentially include political and religous leaders all over the world.

When a Swedish artist just had to paint a picture of Muhammed as a dog, lots of people in muslim countries were killed in riots. Similar events could occur if someone lasered the Pope's plane.

/Fredrik
 
747megatop
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:57 am

Quoting flybynight (Reply 26):
Lasers should be regulated like a gun. It should be registered where the authorities can track potential criminal use. What if both pilots had been injured?

Why not fix it at the source? Why push it into the market in the first place? The industry needs to come up with alternative harmless technology for such hand held devices that are used by average untrained novices.
 
AR385
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RE: Virgin 25B Calls PAN Because Laser Attack At Pilot

Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:28 am

Quoting ogre727 (Reply 30):
I'm sorry, but how is THAT plane more important than any other? It'd be as serious if it were any other plane.

Oh please, leave the attempted naiveté. Can you imagine the ruckus all over the world if the Pope´s plane crashed in Mexico due to such thing as a laser pointed to the cockpit? We would never hear the end of it. So yes, the consequences would be far more relevant and serious.

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