Published on January 23rd, 2022 | by Mark Dwyer


PSNI Police Helicopter Targeted by Laser

‘Police 44’, the Eurocopter EC135 T2 (G-PSNI) operated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, was repeatedly targeted by a laser on Friday night while over north Belfast. The PSNI said the incident happened in the Dunmore area of the city at around 11.30pm. Shortly afterwards two men were arrested on “suspicion of endangering the safety of an aircraft”.

In a statement, the PSNI said: “One male has been released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) and the other remains in police custody. Thankfully, on this occasion, no one was injured as a result of this extremely dangerous and reckless behaviour. Not only is it an offence under the Air Navigation Order to endanger aircraft but it is highly irresponsible and dangerous. Lasers can cause temporary blindness and where pilots are concerned, this could result in a catastrophe and possibly lead to loss of life.”

Under the Air Navigation Order, individuals that point lasers at aircraft can be charged “Endangering the Safety of an Aircraft” which, if convicted, carries an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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