Man Guilty Of Launching Fireworks In Flight Path

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A homeowner in Scotland who launched fireworks into the path of aircraft landing at Edinburgh Airport has pleaded guilty to reckless conduct, the Scotsman.com reported last week. Peter Crane, 20, fired the rockets from his backyard on a busy Friday night on Oct. 29, 2004. Air traffic controllers started to warn crews of the hazard and one pilot reported back: "If the last firework had happened a second later we would have been very close to it." The controllers saw the fireworks occurring for several hours before police found Crane. Crane said he was lighting the fireworks to celebrate Halloween and was not intentionally aiming at aircraft, according to the Scotsman.com. He has not yet been sentenced. In a separate incident, an American Airlines pilot departing from Los Angeles International in November reported to ATC he had seen a smoke trail from something that had been fired near his aircraft. That exchange was recorded. The exchange between the pilot and controller can be heard in the archives of liveatc.net (select KONT, SoCal, November 26, 1530-1600). Listen very carefully to the final minute and you'll hear AA 612 say they saw a rocket pass them. The controller responds, "...a flare or a rocket?" Meanwhile, El Al Israel Airlines has decided to install anti-missile systems on six of its passenger jets. The airline will use Flight Guard systems, which respond automatically to an approaching heat-seeking missile, firing flares to divert the missile from the aircraft.