Lasers suck.

rd757

Well-Known Member
Went on a night XC with a student this evening up to KHTL (Houghton Lake, MI) and got hit by one of those ridiculous green lasers climbing through 3,500ft after departing, leaving us all (student, passenger in backseat and myself) with zero night vision for a very short period of time, luckily the student was on the side of the aircraft that wasn't hit directly and seemed to regain it quickly.

I was looking over at the left side of the panel showing the student something and saw a very bright flash, which got the attention of all three of us in the plane. Instantly, I had a feeling we were being targeted by an idiot with a laser because it was clear skies and unless we were going to imminently end up in a mid-air, it couldn't have been anything else that low. I looked over my shoulder (thinking back, that was probably the worst thing to do) and just in time to catch the beam being aimed at us again. It hit the underside of the wing and reflected into the front of the cabin. About that time the laser was pointed directly into the cabin and I directed the student to bank away immediately trying to expose the underside of the aircraft so we were protected. Unfortunately it hit something on the panel and reflected and caught me directly, ouch.

I called up Minnie Center and they took a pretty detailed report over the radio, asking lots of question, how many houses down the road it was from anything I could make out as a landmark, GPS coordinates of the incident and then relayed the information to the local police. That guy is lucky we weren't based at HTL and were headed home anyway.
 

Skåning

Well-Known Member
Just lean over and turn all the a/c lights off. Problem solved. Not to belittle your experience but I got hit by a green laser somewhere in Mexico and it was not really a big deal. On another note, ALPA spending a bunch of money on conferences and crap is a waste of member money.
 

rd757

Well-Known Member
Just lean over and turn all the a/c lights off. Problem solved. Not to belittle your experience but I got hit by a green laser somewhere in Mexico and it was not really a big deal. On another note, ALPA spending a bunch of money on conferences and crap is a waste of member money.
Everyone's experiences are different, aren't they? :) It still sucks, though. Unfortunately tonight was a full moon so I doubt just turning off the lights would have stopped them from seeing us... It was almost daylight out there!
 

TripSix

Well-Known Member
Just lean over and turn all the a/c lights off. Problem solved. Not to belittle your experience but I got hit by a green laser somewhere in Mexico and it was not really a big deal. On another note, ALPA spending a bunch of money on conferences and crap is a waste of member money.
I don't fly, so I have no idea what it's like to take a laser in the face while flying. However, I have taken more laser information from aircraft than one could shake a stick at. Granted the vast majority don't result in a significant change of flight or injury - but some of them do.

A heavy on final approach taking one in the face at about 300 feet AGL, and another who responded "yes," when asked if there were any injuries are the first two that come to mind. And that's just within the last six months or so.

Pointing a laser at an airplane is just moronic. Truthfully, it warms my heart when they catch the folks doing it and throw down the gauntlet.
 

KSCessnaDriver

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, the blimp, due to its slow speed and large size, poses a very, very easy target to hit with a laser. So much so that, while in big cities, its a matter of when, not if, we get hit. However, while flying the current blimp I'm on, we have some ability to fight back. Our large TV screen, when turned on full brightness at night, will light an entire neighborhood up like its daylight. For some reason, people don't like being seen, and usually the laser stops.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Unfortunately, the blimp, due to its slow speed and large size, poses a very, very easy target to hit with a laser. So much so that, while in big cities, its a matter of when, not if, we get hit. However, while flying the current blimp I'm on, we have some ability to fight back. Our large TV screen, when turned on full brightness at night, will light an entire neighborhood up like its daylight. For some reason, people don't like being seen, and usually the laser stops.
I don't understand people's strange attraction to lasers and aircraft.


Sent from my TRS-80
 

Adler

Low-Level Individual
Unfortunately, the blimp, due to its slow speed and large size, poses a very, very easy target to hit with a laser. So much so that, while in big cities, its a matter of when, not if, we get hit. However, while flying the current blimp I'm on, we have some ability to fight back. Our large TV screen, when turned on full brightness at night, will light an entire neighborhood up like its daylight. For some reason, people don't like being seen, and usually the laser stops.
Lasers sound easy, don't you sit on bullet proof vests over Detroit?
 

Apophis

Resident Iconoclast
Lasers sound easy, don't you sit on bullet proof vests over Detroit?
No, but our airships have certainly taken hits from bullets in the past (luckily it hasn't happened to me personally since I've been flying airships). Flying at night with our envelope illuminated from the internal lighting system really makes for an easy target, especially when you fly as low and slow as we do.

As far as lasers are concerned, I've been targeted by lasers flying the airship at night much more often than not. I really don't understand the fascination people have targeting aircraft with these laser devices.

In fact, I used to own several laser pointers, and not one time did I ever consider the thought of targeting an aircraft with them.
 

staledog

Well-Known Member
I've been lazered half a dozen times or so over the years, it never hurt my eyes or did anything really. Not sure why everyone makes a huge deal about it. I still think the people doing it are morons and should be arrested if caught, but really it didn't affect me. Maybe I just have super eyes.
 
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