"As nakedly as the ubeltater attacked the helicopter, so nakedly did the crew chase back the beam," police reported.
Her advantage: the control stick was in the hands of one of her colleagues, because it was a service helicopter. Its pilot on friday night relayed to colleagues on the ground the address from which the laser beam had come, according to his observation.
A few minutes later, a police patrol knocked on the door of a surprised 17-year-old. The teenager confessed to the crime and handed over the laser pointer. Police stressed that such actions were not pranks. The penal code provides for prison sentences of six months to ten years for dangerous interference with air traffic, according to the report. "Apart from that, the mostly thoughtless perpetrators are endangering human lives."
In recent years, laser attacks on air traffic have increased significantly, said jorg handwerg of the professional association of pilots cockpit on sunday to the news agency dpa. According to statistics from the german federal aviation authority, almost 300 incidents of this kind were recorded each year from 2009 to 2011. Tendency: increasing. One reason, they say, is that equipment has become increasingly cheaper.
Cockpit has been calling for a ban on the possession of powerful laser pointers for years, as handwerg said. The sale of devices with a power output of more than five milliwatts is already banned in germany, they say. In other countries and on the internet, however, laser pointers with over 200 milliwatts are available. "Laser pointers are similar to a weapon and should not be used by children and irresponsible adults in the first place."
"The pilot’s pupil contracts like a flash due to the sudden bright light," the police explained. "From one moment to the next he sees only dots, streaks or nothing at all anymore."
According to the data, this usually happens in the decisive flight phases of takeoff or landing. "That is exactly when, for example, rough passenger planes fly low and no autopilot controls them, but must be steered by hand and on sight."Such attacks often took place in the vicinity of airports.
Police recently reported an incident at stuttgart airport in which two pilots of a passenger plane were blinded by the beam of a laser pointer while landing. An immediately initiated search for the culprit remained – as so often – unsuccessful.
However, it does happen from time to time that even a pilot himself finds the culprit: in december 2012, for example, a 15-year-old in st. Leon-red on a police helicopter. Again, the pilot identified the house of the youth and told his colleagues.
Even if in this case the pilot was unharmed, the police warns: "keep your fingers away from this technical toy and switch on your mind"."