Wiltshire Air Ambulance targeted with laser in 'dangerous and irresponsible' attack

Credit: Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

An air ambulance crew working in the skies over Wiltshire has come under attack from a laser - for the second time this year.

The crew were returning to base in their Bell 429 helicopter when they were targeted by a "very bright green laser", being shone at them from the Trowbridge area at around 9:10pm on Sunday 10 December.

The aircraft was returning from a training mission and neither the pilot nor any of the critical care paramedics on board were hurt.

The pilot landed the aircraft and, after checks, the crew were all able to continue with their night shift.

Chief pilot Matt Wilcock said: “This incident happened while we were undertaking a training flight, but had we been responding to a medical emergency then we would not have been able to land and give critical care.

“Shining a laser at an aircraft is dangerous and irresponsible. It can seriously damage the eyes of those on board, which in turn could place the entire aircraft at risk with potentially catastrophic effects.”

It is the second time a crew from Wiltshire Air Ambulance has been attacked with a laser this year. A very similar incident occurred as a crew returned to base, with the laser coming from the Hilperton area just after half past nine on the evening of 22 August.

Shining a laser at an aircraft is a criminal offence and it carries an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison.

Wiltshire Police is now investigating the latest incident and anyone with information is being urged to contact the force by calling 101 and quoting the reference number 54230131125.