Nova Scotia

Laser strike complaint in Sydney investigated by police

A student pilot flying into Sydney, N.S., Monday night is raising concerns about a possible laser strike.
Transport Canada says anyone guilty of pointing a laser pointer at an aircraft cockpit could face maximum penalties of a $100,000 fine and five years in prison under the Aeronautics Act.

A student pilot flying into Sydney, N.S., Monday night is raising concerns about a possible laser strike.

The pilot-in-training from the Moncton Flight College was making his final approach to the airport when he says a strange green light began “bouncing around” the Cessna aircraft's cockpit.

Mike Tilley, CEO of the flight college,says the student suspected right away that someone on the ground was aiming a laser at him.

“Some people do this for perverse kicks. I'm not sure why,” he said.

Tilley says lasers are dangerous if someone looks directly at the light.

“It can cause serious eye injuries and temporary, if not longer term, bouts of blindness."

Robert Saunders, vice-president of the College of Professional Pilots of Canada, says when pilots see a green or red light aimed skyward it is likely a laser.

He says if the pilot files an incident report right away there is a chance the perpetrator will be caught.

“If they're reported quickly enough and the police can get out to the site where the laser was being pointed, they can find the person who has been doing it,” he said.

Saunders says unfortunately there are more cases of lasers being pointed at planes.

Cape Breton Regional Police are looking into the complaint.

Transport Canada says anyone guilty of pointing a laser pointer at an aircraft cockpit could face maximum penalties of a $100,000 fine and five years in prison under the Aeronautics Act.

now