Thugs target garda copter with lasers
THUGS targeted the crew of the Garda Air Support Unit helicopter with a potentially blinding laser.
The unit had been sent to investigate an earlier incident involving a plane which had just taken off from Dublin Airport when it was targeted.
Air traffic controllers at Dublin contacted gardai after the crew of a Ryanair flight from Dublin to Liverpool reported that a laser was pointed at the cockpit of their aircraft shortly after take-off.
At around 11.15pm, a garda helicopter was dispatched from Baldonnel Aerodrome to investigate reports of a laser being pointed at an aircraft near Malahide. As the chopper made its way to the scene it too was targeted with a laser by an individual in the Darndale area.
The chopper, which is flown by an Air Corps crew but carries garda personnel, tried to locate the suspect while unmarked patrol cars converged on the area. The culprit, however, managed to evade gardai.
A Garda spokesman confirmed: "Gardai received a report from air traffic control of an incident involving an aircraft and a laser in the Swords and Malahide area. The Garda Air Support Unit was sent to investigate the reports while ground units were also sent to the area. No arrests were made but gardai are investigating the matter."
Last Wednesday night, a Ryanair flight on approach to Shannon Airport was targeted by thugs using a laser.
Flight FR109 was flying at 21,000ft overhead Clonbollogue in Co Offaly when the crew contacted air traffic controllers to inform them that they had observed a laser being aimed at their aircraft the aircraft's left wing.
The pilots were not affected by the lasers in any of the incidents.