Skip to comments.Ajax man charged in laser beam incident (pointed a laser at a police helicopter)
Posted on 04/07/2010 3:07:08 AM PDT by Clive
AJAX, Ont. - An Ajax man is facing multiple charges after allegedly pointing a small, hand-held laser beam at a Durham Regional Police helicopter on Saturday.
Police say the helicopter was over Ajax, east of Toronto, assisting officers who were trying to locate a suspected impaired driver when the crew was struck by an intense light. The pilot had to take immediate evasive action and descended rapidly to avoid the laser.
The crew used infrared technology to identify a suspect on the ground, and police arrested the 19-year-old without incident. A laser-pointing device was also located.
Brendon Schoenwald is charged with obstructing police, common nuisance, mischief to property and endangering life under the Criminal Code. He was also charged under the Canadian Aviation Regulations for projecting a directed bright light at an aircraft and under the Aeronautics Act for dangerous behaviour.
I was expecting a shaved head man in white...
So. Damn. Stupid.
By IAN ROBERTSON, QMI Agency
TORONTO - A Durham Region resident accused of endangering a police helicopter crew by flashing them with a hand-held laser device faces prison and a fine of up to $100,000 under the federal Aeronautics Act.
Durham Regional Police spokesman Dave Selby said Tuesday a chopper team flying over Ajax had to take evasive action after being hit with an "intense green light" about 365 metres above the ground Saturday evening.
They were assisting officers in cruisers, who were searching for a suspected impaired driver.
Pilots across North America — including at busy Pearson International Airport — have been plagued by laser pranksters who either don't know or don't care that they could cause a crash if the pilot's eyes became damaged, or if they become disoriented. Uncontrollable sneezing is a common reaction.
From 2005 to 2008, Transport Canada reported 33 incidents of pilots seeing "a light" while flying – several times being temporarily blinded as aircraft were about to land on runways. In addition to the GTA, police in Saskatchewan, Alberta and a U.S. department of homeland security helicopter in British Columbia were targeted during that period.
South of the border, the U.S. Federal Aircraft Administration reported 900 incidents of lasers shot at aircraft.
In May, 2008, York Regional Police called for a ban on high-powered laser pointers after two of their chopper pilots were hit by blinding lights while on patrol.
In the most recent incident, officers spotted the green light coming from among a group of people standing behind an Ajax home, Selby said.
Patrol officers drove there, seized a hand-held laser and arrested a man.
Brendon Schoenwald, 19, of Hills Rd., Ajax, is charged with endangering life, obstructing police, being a common nuisance, and committing mischief to public property.
Schoenwald is also charged, under the Canadian Aviation Regulations, with projecting a directed bright light source at an aircraft, contrary to the Aeronautics Act under dangerous behaviour regulations.
In a police statement, Staff-Sgt. Alan Mack, who heads the Durham air support unit, warned that shining laser beams from small hand-held devices "creates potential hazards for aircraft operations.
"When directed into the cockpit, laser lights can create temporary blindness that may affect the pilot’s ability to operate the aircraft safely," Mack said. “We take incidents of this nature very seriously.”
Anyone convicted under the Aeronautics Act of aiming a laser into an aircraft's cockpit faces a fine of up to $100,000 and/or five years in prison, according to Transport Canada's website.
OK stupid kid.
But who the heck has time to hang out with a laser beam light and then aim it at a helicopter?
One scenerio could be a couple of buds hanging out smokin the dope and just coincidence a heli comes flying by Dude yah wathch yah this yah..(bad Canuck slang on my part).
Not so funny now Dude yah...
Eugene Roche was lazing helicopters?!?
It has puzzled me long how such a pinpoint light can be at all likely to get into the very tiny target which is the pupil of a pilot’s eye, at distances of thousands of feet, and when most laser pointers aren’t focused to better than across a room. Does the windshield spread it out, like a dazzle?
I don’t get it either ,, just not enough power or focus for it to be a real problem... (I am a MEI pilot) ...
I'd be concerned, too. Lasers can be affixed to a rifle.
Holy Carp I did not even think of that.
That could make the heli pilots heart beat skip a few beats, I am sure he knows what you just posted.
Canada doesn’t seem to have the same wattage ban on lasers that the US does. Here, the commercial power limit is usually 5mW. Chinese companies sell small green lasers up to 200mW, but will not ship them to the US if the rating is above our limit. www.dealextreme.com was one of the suppliers, their 25mW green laser was under $30, and could travel for miles.
At that distance, it's no longer a pinpoint. The divergence is nice regarding laser gunsights, because the dot size increases with distance, but because of the distance still looks like a small dot on the (Smaller apearing with distance) target to the shooter.
This was Commodore Henry Harwood's Force G flagship at the Battle of the River Plate in 1939 in which the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee was so badly damaged by three British cruisers that it had to take refuge in Montevideo harbour and then scuttled to prevent its being interned or falling into British hands.
The Town of Ajax was incorporated in 1941 from a townsite that had built up around a newly opened munitions factory. The original streets were named after HMS Ajax personnel that were at that battle, the main street being Harwood Avenue.
The munitions factory and the associated tank and artillery proving grounds are long since gone and the town is now a bedroom community in the exurban Greater Toronto Area.
Light Amplification through Stimulation of Emitted Radiation
TRIVIA NOTE: Earlier in his career, the now successful novelist Clive Cussler was a Hollywood adman. He was one of the copywriters responsible for the Ajax White Knight commercial slogan, "It's stronger than dirt."