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Airliner pilot blinded by laser, lands safely at Moscow airport

August 13, 2013, 12:36 UTC+3

Moscow laser hooligans continue to distract pilots

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Photo ITAR-TASS archive/ Marina Lystseva

Photo ITAR-TASS archive/ Marina Lystseva

MOSCOW, August 13 (Itar-Tass) - An unidentified person used a laser beam to blind pilots of a plane landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on Monday night, press service of the Interior Ministry's Department of Transport for the Central Federal District said. Despite the distractions, the plane landed safely.

"On Monday night, a pilot on the plane en route from Frankfurt to Moscow reported that a green laser beam  coming from the area of the Krasnaya Gorka village near Dmitrovskoye highway had blinded him during landing maneuvers," a police officer said.

"There were 104 passengers and eight crewmembers on board. The plane landed without incident," he added.

Similar incidents were reported last Saturday. Pilots of three commercial airliners complained about being blinded by laser beams. The beams originated from the Dmitrovskoye highway area as well. Apart from annoyance, no lasting damage was done to either the crew or passengers.

Local police is investigating the laser blinding incidents.

The police has reminded that similar blinding attempts have happened in the past. These incidents were common hooliganism: culprits user powerful lasers, which are part of music light shows. Such lasers have beams with effective range of several kilometers. Some "light show fans" install these devices at homes and fire them out their wondows; others prefer a mobile approach and install them in their cars - such rigs can operate from trunks and fire laser beams with an effective range of several dozen kilometers. 

Law enforcements have detained suspects in these incidents. For instance, last May driver of a mobile laser rig was detained in Sparrow Hills, (Vorobyovy Gory), a popular green area of Moscow. 

The suspect confessed to targeting an airplane taking off from Vnukovo airport, but managed to avoid criminal charges. 

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