Saskatchewan

Don't point lasers at airplanes, province warns after Swift Current incident

RCMP are investigating after someone pointed a laser at a government of Saskatchewan air ambulance this week near Swift Current.

Government reports 2 Swift Current pilots had lasers pointed at them Tuesday night

RCMP are investigating after someone pointed a laser at a government of Saskatchewan air ambulance this week, near Swift Current.

It happened around 11 p.m. CST, Tuesday night, according to a government spokesperson.

A patient was aboard the twin-engined plane, which had just taken off from Swift Current. It was still climbing when it was hit with a green laser for between 15 and 20 seconds, the pilots reported.

The light apparently came from somewhere west of Swift Current and north of the Trans-Canada Highway. RCMP and air traffic control were notified.

Laser lights can temporarily blind pilots and such incidents, where air ambulance flights are endangered, are taken very seriously, a government spokesman said.

The pilots were able to continue on to their destination safely.

"This is a very significant risk to aviation safety," Jim Thompson, director of flight operations for the service, said Thursday. "It can cause injury to the pilots, momentary confusion, a glare on the windscreen. These incidents are not taken lightly."

The government has repeated warnings to the public that people should not point lasers at aircraft.

"[Incidents] have been continuing to increase over the past several years," Thompson added. "I don't know why people want to do that, but it is a danger to safety."

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