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Laser shone into cockpit of helicopter
4:50pm Friday 19th October 2012 in News
THE lives of an Army helicopter crew were put at risk when a laser was shone into the cockpit.
The Lynx helicopter, based with the Army Air Corp at Dishforth, had been flying over Ripon at 9.50pm on Tuesday of last week when someone shone a high-powered laser at the aircraft.
It is believed it came from near the Victoria Grove junction with Allhallowgate in the city. Officers, assisted by the helicopter crew, made a search of the area but were unable to locate the offenders.
It is a criminal offence to use a light in a way that will dazzle or distract a pilot.
Temporary Chief Inspector Sarah Sanderson, of Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Command, said: “I cannot condemn this act of utter stupidity strongly enough. As well as causing the flight crew considerable difficulty and putting their lives at risk, the consequences had the helicopter crashed are unthinkable.
“I urge anyone who can help to identify those responsible for this reckless act to come forward and contact the police or Crimestoppers immediately.”
Last year, a 17-year-old from Pelton Fell, Chester-le-Street, was sentenced for shining a laser pen into the cockpit of a Boeing 757 carrying 228 passengers from Crete to Newcastle and for also targeting a police helicopter scrambled to find the source of the laser.
Anyone who can help North Yorkshire police with their investigation is asked to contact Ripon police on 101, press option 2 and ask for Dave Furlong. Alternatively information can be emailed to david.fur email@example.com lice.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.