Mounties in the Cowichan Valley are now investigating a reported laser strike against a plane that flew over North Cowichan area last month.
On the night of July 28, three aircraft — two planes including a Cessna and one helicopter — reported laser strikes while flying over an area around Chemainus and Saltair in North Cowichan, according to a Transport Canada incident report.
In one reported incident, a Cessna 152 was flying over Saltair en route to Victoria when the pilot noticed a flashing green light hit the underside of the plane’s wing. Shortly after a helicopter and a pilot from another undisclosed airplane also reported being hit with a laser beam. One pilot reported the laser beam was coming from an area within one to four nautical miles of Mountain View Drive in Saltair.
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP said in a press release they are now working with Transport Canada to investigate a laser strike reported by a pilot on the night of July 28. RCMP officers, according to the detachment, searched the area where the beam is believed to have originated from but could not find it due to a “large” search area.
“Laser strikes on aircraft are a serious concern as they can cause temporary blinding of aircrew, says S/Sgt. Chris Swain. “Especially at night, laser strikes can lead to a possible loss of control of aircraft, posing a danger to people on the aircraft and the general public. These incidents need to stop immediately,” said Staff Sgt. Chris Swain of the North Cowichan RCMP.
Police are now asking anyone with information about the laser strike or other previous laser strikes in the area to contact them immediately.
Under Transport Canada regulations, it is illegal to possess a laser pointer or hand-held laser over a milliwatt outside of a private dwelling that is within a 10-kilometre radius of an airport or certified heliports.