We all know too well the damage that laser pens can wreak on our eyes. But for one BA co-pilot, things became even more serious when a military strength laser was shone directly into the cockpit. As a result of this laser attack, the individual received major damage to his peepers including burnt retinas.
Playing with lasers is literally a dangerous game to play. Yes it might be all Star Wars and Luke Skywalker from time to time but these gizmos have serious consequences. According to the UK Health Protection Agency, they strongly advise that green pointers can lead to abnormal vision.
In fact, the figures have grown rapidly concerning laser pen incidents. In just ten years, the stats have rocketed where thousands of incidents have been reported.
Yet this was much more than a simple landing. Retinal damage is without doubt on the rise and it is believed this incident was the most harmful injury a UK based pilot has ever experienced. Ouch.
Lasers are readily available to good old Joe public and are easily obtainable for less than a fiver. Their power is undeniable not only in their growing popularity but in terms of the damage they can inflict. Technology is being developed at a rapid rate and many airlines are becoming increasingly concerned.
Despite the co-pilot not being in control of the plane at the time, the potential for injury is massive. The gentlemen in question was rushed to hospital and received treatment after this horrific incident. Aside from this, other reports reveal that approximately 50 per cent of pilots have suffered at the hands of a laser pen in just twelve months.
If that’s not enough to make you want to reach for the sick bag there’s more. The Civil Aviation Authority have also reported the majority of these so called laser attacks took place at Heathrow Airport. Considered to be one of the busiest airports in the world, Heathrow recorded nearly 50 laser pen attacks in just six months, whilst nearly 170 happened last year alone.
We are aware that lasers can startle not to mention put off pilots at important stages during the flight procedure. On top of this, attacks are so instant that it can cause what is known as visual disturbance to the individual’s eyes. This can actually go on for a considerable amount of time after any given incident.
Green beam pens are certainly enemy number one at the moment. Costing in excess of £400, they can be as deadly as one of Lady C’s putdowns. It is believed that some laser pens can extend up to 200 miles and are said to even pierce balloons. They are highly visible in the sky thanks to their piercing green beam which can be used in the highest of detail. BA are now looking into what happened but have urged all of their pilots to report matters immediately.
However, there is good news on the horizon. It is actually an offence in the UK to use lasers in a reckless manner and is often punishable by law. If you want to get involved in our debate on laser pens and its effects then why not share a comment below?