Following local reports of laser attacks on Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) aircraft in November 2016, the Association of Air Ambulances has conducted a survey with its air operator membership and found that the reported number of three incidents in 2015 has increased to 10 during 2016.
These incidents are potentially extremely dangerous, distracting pilots and with unknown health impact on the vision of the flight crew; the fact that the general public target helicopters is very serious and from the AAA’s investigations appears to be a growing problem.
Air Ambulances are either attending a seriously ill patient or carrying patients and the crew who are treating them to hospital. These attacks are potentially extreme dangerous, putting the patient, crew and general public at risk in the event that a laser disorientates a pilot, resulting in a life threating serious incident.
The risk to the loss of life from these acts of stupidity by unwitting people, is not acceptable, not to mention against the law and can result in prosecution from the Police.
We encourage the general public to not point lasers at any aircraft under any circumstances and if witnessing an individual pointing laser pens at any type of aircraft, they should notify the Police immediately.
More information on the Association of Air Ambulances and the air ambulance community can be found by visiting: www.aoaa.org.uk.