A police investigation is underway after the pilot of a passenger jet flying in to Bristol airport reported someone on the ground shining a laser pen in to the cockpit as it flew over Wiltshire.
Police in the county warned of the dangers of using laser pens after the incident, which happened just after dark on Sunday evening.
At around 9.24pm, an Airbus 321 was beginning its descent into Bristol Airport and was flying over the area of Calne in north Wiltshire when the pilots were distracted by the light of a green laser pen being shone from the ground.
“Shining any form of powerful light in the direction of a flying aircraft is foolish at best and fatal at worst,” said a spokesman for Wiltshire police. “Fortunately, on this occasion, the pilot was still able to land the plane safely at Bristol airport but it could have been a very different story.”
It is not the first time pilots flying over Calne have been targeted by laser pens from the ground. Last year, the pilot of the joint Wiltshire police helicopter and air ambulance was forced to fly off from attending a patient suffering a cardiac arrest after it was hit by a pen, and have reported being targeted on several other occasions.
The Ministry of Defence complained that military helicopters flying over Somerset were being targeted from yobs on the ground, and the Great Western Air Ambulance was also targeted recently.