There's nothing like a blood boiling headline to get your Monday morning started. Morons around have seemingly fixated their vapid minds toward pointing high power lasers at jetliners; endangering the lives of travelers around the world. It may sound like a fairly innocuous little thing, but it's not. On Sunday evening, February 14th, A Virgin Atlantic flight was forced to divert after one of it's pilots was injured in a laser attack. Unfortunately, he's not the first.
Virgin Atlantic Flight 25 from London Heathrow to New York JFK, a flight I've taken many times, was forced to divert and return to London after encountering a laser attack while flying over the west coast of Ireland. It's not hard to imagine how important vision is to a pilot, and this is sadly, one of many incidents where landings have been aborted, planes have turned around, and threats against aircraft have been assumed, all due to a**holes with laser pointers.
As direct result of a laser attack, the copilot of Virgin Atlantic 25 suffered an eye injury, forcing diversion to Heathrow, stranding 252 passengers and 15 crew for the evening. Sadly, this is not the first, the tenth or any number countable within reason, involving laser attacks. Just this year, a British Airways pilot was been blinded, many have been injured, and the safety of passengers has been compromised as these attacks mount.
With governments slow to track, respond and properly prosecute these offenses, pilots unions are gearing up for serious negotiations, as threats seemingly grow uninhibited. If you see your neighbor shining a laser pointer at a plane, call the police. Seriously. You don't want blind pilots trying to land your plane.
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