Laser Attacks Hit Air Ambulances

A rash of laser attacks against air ambulance aircraft in Ontario has prompted a police investigation and concern by the operator. “It can be potentially catastrophic if a pilot was hit by a laser as they were approaching the runway to land, if they were distracted at the wrong time,” said Chris Busch, manager of training and standards for fixed-wing aircraft for Ornge, Ontario’s air ambulance contractor. The attacks came on three consecutive nights in early March against aircraft flying near Timmins and Sudbury.

One of the attacks happened while the aircraft was at cruising altitude heading to Timmins and the cockpit was lit up with green and red lasers. The next night it was a plane departing Sudbury when it was hit by a green laser. Neither of those flights was carrying a patient. In the third incident, the aircraft had a patient and medical team onboard when it was hit by red and green lasers. The crew had to avert their eyes from the source of the lights while flying the aircraft manually. All three aircraft completed their flights.