MOSCOW, May 1 (Itar-Tass) — An unknown perpetrator has blinded a plane’s pilot by a laser during takeoff from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. The city’s law enforcement bodies told Itar-Tass on Tuesday that the transport police are conducting a probe into the incident.
The incident occurred overnight to Monday when the plane with number YuK-187 that was on the route Vnukovo-Nalchik has just gained altitude. “An unknown person blinded the pilot by a laser beam near the ·· Novo-Peredelkino district of the city. The crew reported the incident to the traffic controller and continued the flight,” said the source.
According to preliminary data, the hooligan used a laser musical light chaser system that can emit a beam at a distance of several kilometres. Some fans of the musical show install such equipment at home and shine it through the windows, some - on their cars and it works as the car trunk opens: the beam effectively pierces deep into the sky (for tens of kilometres depending on the power). However, these people do not bother that such fun could be the cause of an air crash.
Similar cases of blinding of air crews have also occurred over the city airports in the past. The police have also detained the suspects. In particular, a man was detained in the Sparrow Hills area in Moscow in whose car the police found a powerful laser device. The detainee was suspected of blinding an airplane taking off from Vnukovo airport. However, the police failed to prove the guilt of the suspect.
The State Duma lower house of parliament has recently developed a bill on criminal liability for the blinding of pilots – because the number of “laser hooligans” has considerably grown. The lawmakers propose to punish them with several years in prison.