Laser Targets Medevac Helicopter--Twice
The pilot of an Australian medevac helicopter said he had to delay a landing with a critically ill passenger on board after he was briefly blinded by a laser aimed from the ground. The Sydney Morning Herald reported Saturday that the pilot, Darryl Humphries, was setting up to land at a hospital in Sydney when the green laser (powerful enough to damage eyes) hit the cockpit. It was the second time in three weeks that he'd been hit. "The laser distracted me whilst I was flying and caused me to stop doing a pre-landing check, which delayed landing with our patient," Humphries told the Morning Herald. "Some of these lasers can cause permanent eye damage, which is quite scary when you're trying to get a critically ill patient to hospital." Police are investigating and, of course, the air ambulance folks would appreciate it if the nonsense stops. "I'd say to them, get a bit of maturity about yourself and have a think about what you're doing," operations manager Steve Hughes said. "The risks you create for the pilot, the crew and the patients is considerable. Not only that, if it had resulted in an accident, we're flying in over domestic properties all the time and we could end up crashing onto suburban areas. It has some fairly large ramifications when you think about [it]."