Following a recent incident involving a laser pointer aimed at Air1, the police helicopter, DRPS would like to stress how dangerous it is, not to mention illegal, to direct any laser device at any helicopter. While Air1 was able to land safely, a member of the Air Support Unit had to attend the hospital for an eye examination.
Anyone found pointing a laser device at an aircraft in flight may be charged with several offences including, but not limited to:
• Projecting a bright light source at an aircraft (Canadian Aviation Act)
• Interfering with Performance of Duties of any crew member (Aeronautics Act)
• Lessening the Ability of an crew member to perform duties (Aeronautics Act)
• Assault with a weapon causing bodily harm
• Mischief endangering life
• Common nuisance
Conviction of any of these charges can result in a maximum fine of $100,000 and five years imprisonment. The use of any laser light pointed at aircraft in flight is dangerous because, when directed at the cockpit, it may cause temporary blindness that could affect the pilot’s ability to operate the aircraft safely.
The DRPS Air Support Unit does not perform flight training exercises, so if you hear our helicopter overhead it is assisting with a call for service. Please refrain from directing any laser device in the direction of sky and allow Air1 to perform its duties safely and effectively. Click here to view a video of the effects of laser lights in the cockpit of the helicopter.
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