Oak Bay police are investigating a case of a Helijet flight hit by a green laser while at 4,700 feet January 29. Authorities say the laser originated from Cadboro Bay. File photo courtesy CBC.

Oak Bay police are investigating a case of a Helijet flight hit by a green laser while at 4,700 feet January 29. Authorities say the laser originated from Cadboro Bay. File photo courtesy CBC.

Police are warning of the dangers by pointing a laser towards an aircraft after a Helijet was allegedly hit by a green light while in flight last week.

Oak Bay police say the incident happened Jan. 29 while the helicopter was at 4,700 feet.

The laser originated from an area of Cadboro Bay and police received the report from Nav Canada at 6:20 p.m.

Authorities are reminding people that directing a laser at a flight is a federal offence that can temporarily blind the pilot and put everyone on board, and people on the ground, at risk.

?What may seem like a little prank is incredibly serious,” Oak Bay police Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties said.

“If the potential outcome to the pilot and passengers isn?t enough, the suspect(s) may wish to consider the impact a conviction under the
Aeronautics Act could have on their own future employment or cross-border vacations.?

David Carlos, a pilot who owns Victoria Air Photos and Survey, says a laser can cause a pilot to temporarily lose night vision.

“As a pilot, you have to have 100 per cent detail at all times to make sure that you are doing everything correctly and you need to be able to see not only outside but also your instrumentation panel, for example, which would be critically important,” Carlos said. “It’s a serious crime. Transport Canada has made many notifications to the pilot world about the danger of lasers and pointing them, and I think people really need to get it.”

Anyone convicted of pointing a laser at an aircraft could face up to $100,000 in fines and five years in prison.

The investigation into this incident is ongoing.

Andy Neal