Lasers shone into plane cockpits


gwuMACaddict

macrumors 68040
Apr 21, 2003
3,124
0
washington dc
yes, this happened near salt lake city a few months ago, the pilot had trouble landing the plane.

seems like a silly way to try and cause trouble
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
0
Yes, I heard about this on the news yesterday. It's a very scary thing. Now to find out if it was just a prank or a terrorist. :eek:
 

Thomas Veil

macrumors 68020
Feb 14, 2004
2,435
5,516
OBJECTIVE reality
Holy crap! I live near this area (Warrensville Heights).

EDIT: More information here and here.

Lasers sophisticated and powerful enough to affect aircraft? Six incidents in four days? Gotta be something more than just a prank.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,521
2,557
Sod off
Of course, Cleveland. We always show up in the news with stuff like this. Luckily I'm from the East side, so it wasn't me. :D

I hope they find the scumbag. I doubt it's terrorism, more likely stupidity.
 

Xtremehkr

macrumors 68000
Jul 4, 2004
1,897
0
But did they have frickin sharks on their heads?


wait, something about that isn't right.
 

Superdrive

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2003
762
26
Dallas, Tx
As a pilot, I wonder about the angles of everything including the plane and laser. The windscreens on a commercial airliner are not that great in size. If a plane were at (8,500 ft) as in the story, or even on approach to an airport, I could only imagine that the person holding the laser would be near 90° (obviously not at) to the flight deck to shine in the eyes of a pilot. Also, I wonder what kinds of lasers are being used to shine that far, that clear, and that precise into a cockpit where it can be identified and traced. Who knows......

-T
 

Spock

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2002
1,778
721
Vulcan
Xtremehkr said:
But did they have frickin sharks on their heads?


wait, something about that isn't right.
You mean they actually Have frickin Sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their frickin heads? Coool
 

thecow

macrumors 6502
Nov 24, 2003
400
0
Timonium MD
Superdrive said:
As a pilot, I wonder about the angles of everything including the plane and laser. The windscreens on a commercial airliner are not that great in size. If a plane were at (8,500 ft) as in the story, or even on approach to an airport, I could only imagine that the person holding the laser would be near 90° (obviously not at) to the flight deck to shine in the eyes of a pilot. Also, I wonder what kinds of lasers are being used to shine that far, that clear, and that precise into a cockpit where it can be identified and traced. Who knows......

-T
It could be a computer controlled laser if the terrorists/pranksters have a lot of time and money. I don't see how you could manually move a laser and point it into the eye of a pilot in a plane 8,500 feet in the air.
 

mpw

Guest
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
Didn't "John Clark" do this in Tom Clancy's Sum of All Fears?

As I remember it it wasn't a lazer but just a powerful beam of normal light that disorienteted the pilot. Could be an answer to the acuracy issue but would surely be obvious to anyone about and at 8,500ft would be a bit far.

Sounds a little far fetched to me. I also thought that commercial lazers wouldn't be powerful enough to do any harm especially at that distance. It'll make think twice next time I take my lazer out in public!
 

Apple Hobo

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2004
795
0
A series of tubes
Superdrive said:
As a pilot, I wonder about the angles of everything including the plane and laser. The windscreens on a commercial airliner are not that great in size. If a plane were at (8,500 ft) as in the story, or even on approach to an airport, I could only imagine that the person holding the laser would be near 90° (obviously not at) to the flight deck to shine in the eyes of a pilot. Also, I wonder what kinds of lasers are being used to shine that far, that clear, and that precise into a cockpit where it can be identified and traced. Who knows......

-T
As a pilot, I'm sure you've heard of NOTAMs warning of local laser light shows. Maybe the lasers don't have to be at a precise angle/distance. :confused: It's a little creepy thinking about what would happen if both pilots go blind on approach. However, if they they have one of the newer autopilot systems that is capable flying an ILS until touchdown, maybe it will be OK.

Weren't old-timer airline pilots required to do blindfolded cockpit checks to see if they knew the locations of all important controls? I think WWII fighter pilots had to do this.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
This happened to a US and a Canadian airman who were in a helicopter flying over a Russian "fishing trawler" (read, electronic surveillance ship) in the Pacific Northwest. Burned their retinas and partially blinded them.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=15145
http://www.usembassy-israel.org.il/publish/press/state/archive/1997/may/sd10515.htm

>As a pilot, I wonder about the angles of everything including the plane and laser. The windscreens on a commercial airliner are not that great in size. If a plane were at (8,500 ft) as in the story, or even on approach to an airport, I could only imagine that the person holding the laser would be near 90° (obviously not at) to the flight deck to shine in the eyes of a pilot

Umm.. Can the pilots see the airport when they are on approach?
If they can see, say, a building on the ground, then light from that building can see their eyeballs too, yes?
 

stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Aug 10, 2004
2,702
2
In the late 80's the plane I flew in the Navy (P-3) was used to do open ocean recon, to include low photo passes of ships, russian warships too. They were known to be experimenting with laser blinding of pilots so everyone in the cockpit was issues special goggles to block specific light freqs.

The present situation is not a safe one, especially if it continues or gets worse.
 

Sparky's

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2004
871
0
Superdrive said:
As a pilot, I wonder about the angles of everything including the plane and laser. The windscreens on a commercial airliner are not that great in size. If a plane were at (8,500 ft) as in the story, or even on approach to an airport, I could only imagine that the person holding the laser would be near 90° (obviously not at) to the flight deck to shine in the eyes of a pilot. Also, I wonder what kinds of lasers are being used to shine that far, that clear, and that precise into a cockpit where it can be identified and traced. Who knows......

-T
My thought exactly when I heard the story. The physics and geometry just don't add up. Unless they were using some kind of weapon Q developed for Bond :cool: then that would only have the power, but again the angle to actually penetrate the cockpit glass and then be steady enough to actually AIM it at the cockpit and hit it at 8,500' I don't think so :rolleyes:
 

Sir_Giggles

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2003
507
0
The guy wasn't doing anything serious, perhaps a little mischief and distracting the pilots. The government reacted and made the incident on the scale of a terrorist threat, which it wasnt, so I feel sorry for the poor boy.
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
15,630
3
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Sir_Giggles said:
The guy wasn't doing anything serious, perhaps a little mischief and distracting the pilots. The government reacted and made the incident on the scale of a terrorist threat, which it wasnt, so I feel sorry for the poor boy.
As a pilot, I do not feel sorry for the boy at all.

This was a stupid prank.

Sushi
 

Apple Hobo

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2004
795
0
A series of tubes
Sir_Giggles said:
The guy wasn't doing anything serious, perhaps a little mischief and distracting the pilots. The government reacted and made the incident on the scale of a terrorist threat, which it wasnt, so I feel sorry for the poor boy.
How is it not serious? If you were on a plane with 500 other people, would you want your pilots to be distracted or even blinded? Seemingly harmless mischief and pranks can kill people.