Shocking figures show more than 220 laser attacks aimed at airlines and helicopters, many bringing home wounded troops. The worrying statistics, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed at least one attack on a police helicopter came from the open window of a mosque in Small Heath.
Birmingham Mail (h/t Linda R) Thugs are using powerful lasers to target airliners, police helicopters and even military transporters bringing wounded troops into Birmingham. There have been more than 220 separate laser attacks reported in the West Midlands in the last two years, according to alarming new figures from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Laser beams were also spotted coming from bedroom windows, hotels, moving cars and even an unnamed Midland sports stadium as planes came into land in Birmingham.
Chillingly, there have also been three separate attacks against military aircraft bringing in injured troops for treatment in Birmingham. The first was on May 4, 2011, when a plane was targeted by a green laser as it made its final approach to the airport.
Laser attacks on aircraft in Birmingham are rising
The second attack was on September 15 that year when another military aircraft was flying at 4,000 feet, west of the M6 near Cannock. Two weeks later there was a third incident when a plane flying at 2,000ft was targeted by a laser as it came in to land.
In some of the 220 incidents pilots have been targeted by multiple lasers with the cockpit lit up with red, blue and green lights. In one attack in July 2011 the police helicopter was targeted by FOUR different beams as it hovered one mile south-west of the airport.
The powerful beams can temporarily blind pilots or illuminate the whole cockpit, leaving flight crews struggling to land the aircraft. The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) has warned that targeting lasers on aircraft is like playing “Russian roulette” with the lives of passengers and has called for prison sentences for those responsible.
Cases of laser attacks across the UK have jumped from just three in 2004 to more than 1,500 last year.
A youth caught shining a laser pen at a police helicopter