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Youth shone laser at helicopter

After a lengthy investigation RCMP in Crowsnest Pass have charged a youth with shining a green laser beam at a helicopter.
The charge stems from an incident July 16 at about 11:45 p.m. during the Thunder in the Valley fireworks display.
RCMP members were patrolling the area in an RCMP helicopter when the pilot and the tactical flight officer noted on two occasions that a green laser beam was pointed at the cockpit of the aircraft.
With assistance of the police on the ground a male young offender was identified and a laser light was seized.
No injuries occurred to the flight crew, however the potential was high.
The youth is scheduled to appear Dec. 2 in Pincher Creek provincial court.
“There are many incidents of shining a high powered laser light towards an airborne aircraft every year,” Cpl. K.W. McKenna said in a news release. “This bright light can produce a distraction and a condition called flash blindness to the air crew. This becomes especially dangerous when the aircraft is landing or taking off as it may result in a crash of the aircraft. In addition the light flash could cause permanent damage to the eyes of the aircrew members.”
McKenna said what may appear to be a small or insignificant laser light beam will reach a flying aircraft and has the potential for fatal results.
“Never shine any form of laser light up into the sky and especially never towards an aircraft,” McKenna said.

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