Cougar Helicopters target of latest laser strike

June 07, 2012
June 7, 2012, Porters Lake, N.S. - Nova Scotia RCMP are warning residents after a laser light was aimed at the cockpit of an aircraft while it was flying over the Porters Lake area.

The incident happened at 6:35 p.m. on Sunday to a Sikorsky helicopter returning to Halifax from the Exxon Mobil offshore natural gas facilities at Sable Island.

According to an incident report posted by Transport Canada, the aircraft — owned by Cougar Helicopters — was flying inbound from the Thebaud drilling rig when it reported a red laser was directed at the cockpit as it flew over the Porters Lake area.

The RCMP were alerted.

"We made patrols and were unable to locate the source," Cpl. Scott MacRae, a spokesman for the RCMP, told CBC News in an email.

"We have advised local residents through the CityWatch program that this is dangerous for the pilots and aircraft."

Warnings have previously been issued about the dangers of lasers because of their blinding, incapacitating beams.

The penalty for aiming a laser into a cockpit is $100,000, five years in prison or both under the Aeronautics Act, according to Transport Canada's website.

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