A green laser was shone into the cockpit of a plane which was circling 7,000 feet in the air over Netley in Hampshire.
Luckily it was not shone directly in the pilot’s eyes and he was able to maintain control of the aircraft. Police say the careless act by someone on the ground below could have had catastrophic consequences, particularly when coupled with the fact that visibility was reduced as a result of fog.
Officers deployed to an area near IKEA in Southampton, as the laser had reportedly been shone from there, but the person responsible was not located.
The plane, flown from Glasgow, was diverted to another airport as a result of the fog where it landed safely.
Hampshire Constabulary may seek a prosecution, where laser pens have been used to dazzle the pilot of an aircraft, under three pieces of legislation. These are:
It is a crime to shine or direct a laser beam that dazzles or distracts, or is likely to dazzle or distract, air traffic controllers, pilots, captains of boats and drivers of road vehicles. Offenders face much tougher penalties of up to five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.