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Old 11-29-2013, 09:57 PM #1
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Default Laser-Aircraft events

Question for those technically knowledgeable

I have been away from the forums for quite a while and have not had time to continue with my laser hobby. Last week I was considering purchasing a laser by asking for some advice on the boards, it's been a while and I'm out of practice with whom to buy from.

As fate would have it, a few nights ago I was lased while flying an airliner at night. As I'm familiar with what a 5mW 532 beam looks like from low altitude distance I immediately knew this wasn't your average laser event. The beam was steady as if mounted, accurately tracked my face, extremely visible beam from a horizontal range of around a half mile, and got me in the eye.

I noticed no effects to my sight immediately, but I did notice a dull soreness in my eye after the flight. After about 12 hours the discomfort vanished.

My question is, let's say at a slant range of a mile or so, how much is your average quality beam going to disperse to the point of not causing permanent damage from a brief lase in the eye (lets say an output of 500mW)? The cockpit window definitely distorts the beam further, and hopefully this will have saved me from the worst and my discomfort was just light saturation.

Got an eye appointment soon, just wanted to hear some thoughts while I freak out. I would have loved to drop my suitcase on the prick who decided that was his idea of a fun night.

**On a completely different note. My last laser was a 450mW 8x DIY. I'm looking at getting into either a 532 or another bluray approaching a Watt. Any builders out there that are safe to entrust with this?


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Old 11-29-2013, 10:06 PM #2
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

http://laserpointerforums.com/f39/sa...0-a-78452.html
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:57 PM #3
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

First off whoever did that is a FU#@ING idiot, and i really hope you are okay Maybe they had it setup on a tripod, and my guess is that it was a WL idiot behind this stupidity :P Only way to know about damage will be what your eye specialist tells you i guess.
On your other note, buying from LPFers is usually cheaper and people like Blord or machinists like Sinner or Ehgemus make excellent quality lasers. Far superior to the quality of the 99% of Chinese lasers made
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:03 AM #4
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Thanks for the health wishes. I'll just have to chill until then I guess.

As far as getting back in to the lasers, I'm excited! It seems like blues are becoming more available than when I was active. I gotta do some reading up to figure out what I need
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:42 AM #5
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Quote:
Originally Posted by cavok84 View Post
Thanks for the health wishes. I'll just have to chill until then I guess.

As far as getting back in to the lasers, I'm excited! It seems like blues are becoming more available than when I was active. I gotta do some reading up to figure out what I need
Wow, sorry about that man. I do wish you and your eye the best

+Rep for being alright haha.
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:07 AM #6
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Yes, it seems that there are people putting "effort" into "airplane lasing" now.

I still think there's a sociopathic or separation 'wall' there, where these folks are somewhere in their mind pointing it at an aircraft to "see what happens". (Even though the only result would be.. very bad.)

The only time I've been hit while flying was via obviously handheld methods. But I've heard of other pilots who have noted the same "tracked" phenomenon.

I have yet to meet (even online) anyone who brags about their airplane+laser adventures, (Though of course a while back we had the kids who claimed it couldn't hurt because 'the windows are on top') but there seems to be a 'community' for everything online.
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:09 PM #7
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Quote:
steady as if mounted, accurately tracked my face, extremely visible beam from a horizontal range of around a half mile
That's no cheap kiddy laser my friend. At 1/2 mile the human face is a VERY small target and if moving even smaller. It's unlikely even a simple mount would be able to follow a human sized target at 1/2 mile.

A laser fired at the general direction of an aircraft is a "criminal offence"...sad to say but a laser directed at a pilot and following the pilot could easily be considered a "terrorist event" (or at least will be if too many of these incidents happen)

Good to hear your eyesight is ok though.

cheers

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Old 11-30-2013, 02:28 PM #8
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Welcome back!

Glad that you're okay, although it would be best for the doctor to confirm.

Did you report the laser activity to officials? It would be nice to get rid of pests like those one by one.

The diodes that we're getting from projectors are 445-450nm blue, and go up to 3.2-3.5W, so check out some new builds with these 9mm diodes!
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:24 PM #9
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Quote:
Originally Posted by aryntha View Post
Yes, it seems that there are people putting "effort" into "airplane lasing" now.

I still think there's a sociopathic or separation 'wall' there, where these folks are somewhere in their mind pointing it at an aircraft to "see what happens". (Even though the only result would be.. very bad.)

The only time I've been hit while flying was via obviously handheld methods. But I've heard of other pilots who have noted the same "tracked" phenomenon.

I have yet to meet (even online) anyone who brags about their airplane+laser adventures, (Though of course a while back we had the kids who claimed it couldn't hurt because 'the windows are on top') but there seems to be a 'community' for everything online.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:47 PM #10
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Thanks for the info everyone. Got the appointment tomorrow, and looking at that hazard chart, I'd imagine I'm probably freaking out for nothing.

It is amazing how common these incidents have become lately. I reported the incident with ATC as well as my company's security department.

Like I said, most of the time the laser is maybe somewhat annoying, but nothing you can't just look away from. The beam is highly attenuated and shaky; if it even hits your face the guy just lucked out.

This time it was a fairly steady tracking and highly visible beam. My altitude was around 1000ft and the beam's origin appeared to be around a half mile laterally.

I should have just turned the aircraft, added full power, and followed the beam all the way down to the guy to give him a scare!

How cool do the new 445's look in person? I've only had experience with 405 and 532
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Last edited by cavok84; 11-30-2013 at 08:54 PM. Reason: add
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:04 PM #11
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Imagine a 10mile light saber. Lol these things are incredible. A nice thick beam, but divergence leaves something to be desired. A three watts, it is a sight you must see in person to really appreciate it. And if you have a little pyro inside you, lol , your in for a treat.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:02 AM #12
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmack View Post
Imagine a 10mile light saber. Lol these things are incredible. A nice thick beam, but divergence leaves something to be desired. A three watts, it is a sight you must see in person to really appreciate it. And if you have a little pyro inside you, lol , your in for a treat.
Awesome! Lacking a focus lens do you see an appreciable difference in burning capability vs a 405?
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:59 AM #13
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Its a shame airplane pilots dont carry there own high powered lasers. If I was flying a plane and got lased in the face like that, I would want revenge.

As for the tracking system, sounds like the laser was mounted on a tripod with some kind of scope, or telescope.

Sorry to get off topic. But I have been wondering, what do most pilots do if they see say a very bright blue or green laser beam in the sky, but not aimed at there air-craft? like say a green 500mw beam 1-2 miles in front of the plane?

This is not something I would ever do on purpose, but when I first go into this hobby, I would point one of my lasers at the sky (after making sure no aircraft), and would notice flashing lights on the other side of the sky (no where near the beam). I know the aircraft had to have seen it. I had this happen once, and after that I dont point anything at the sky unless its 3am and no clouds so I can be sure absolutely no aircraft.

Anyway, my question is, if a pilot sees a beam, but the beam is not directed at them, do they still see it as a threat and call it in?
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:18 AM #14
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceInChains View Post
Its a shame airplane pilots dont carry there own high powered lasers. If I was flying a plane and got lased in the face like that, I would want revenge.

As for the tracking system, sounds like the laser was mounted on a tripod with some kind of scope, or telescope.

Sorry to get off topic. But I have been wondering, what do most pilots do if they see say a very bright blue or green laser beam in the sky, but not aimed at there air-craft? like say a green 500mw beam 1-2 miles in front of the plane?

This is not something I would ever do on purpose, but when I first go into this hobby, I would point one of my lasers at the sky (after making sure no aircraft), and would notice flashing lights on the other side of the sky (no where near the beam). I know the aircraft had to have seen it. I had this happen once, and after that I dont point anything at the sky unless its 3am and no clouds so I can be sure absolutely no aircraft.

Anyway, my question is, if a pilot sees a beam, but the beam is not directed at them, do they still see it as a threat and call it in?
I personally don't think they would call it in unless it seems to be getting too close to them and could somehow limit the pilot's flying capabilities.

And about the part where you discussed wanting revenge.

If you did have a laser and shined it back at them you would most likely get in the biggest trouble as lawsuits have been filed over someone using lasers as protection and the plaintiff won, you won't be helping yourself and frankly I wouldn't sink to their level. Just report it in and watch that idiot go to Jail and get a fine
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:23 AM #15
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Quote:
I would want revenge.
Likely why your not a pilot

Quote:
do they still see it as a threat
Your miles up in the air inside a pressured thin skinned tube with 300+ lives that are your responsibility, passing through an atmosphere that would kill you in seconds with your arse strapped in a cigar tube that weighs 200+ tonnes with 2,000,000+ parts built by the lowest bidding contractor with the evasive capability of a house brick.

I enjoy flying but it never leaves my mind that I have possibly 3 other souls to consider. Now multiply a PPL to commercial and everything I would imagine is a threat.

cheers

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Old 12-10-2013, 07:35 AM #16
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Default Re: Laser-Aircraft events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tha Greenlander View Post
If you did have a laser and shined it back at them you would most likely get in the biggest trouble as lawsuits have been filed over someone using lasers as protection and the plaintiff won, you won't be helping yourself and frankly I wouldn't sink to their level. Just report it in and watch that idiot go to Jail and get a fine
That and the fact that me trying to zap him from the cockpit would instantly flash blind me! The windscreens being polarized, which is necessary for the common stuff like light glare and direct sunlight tends to make the window turn an ungodly bright green.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceInChains View Post
Its a shame airplane pilots dont carry there own high powered lasers. If I was flying a plane and got lased in the face like that, I would want revenge.

As for the tracking system, sounds like the laser was mounted on a tripod with some kind of scope, or telescope.

Sorry to get off topic. But I have been wondering, what do most pilots do if they see say a very bright blue or green laser beam in the sky, but not aimed at there air-craft? like say a green 500mw beam 1-2 miles in front of the plane?

This is not something I would ever do on purpose, but when I first go into this hobby, I would point one of my lasers at the sky (after making sure no aircraft), and would notice flashing lights on the other side of the sky (no where near the beam). I know the aircraft had to have seen it. I had this happen once, and after that I dont point anything at the sky unless its 3am and no clouds so I can be sure absolutely no aircraft.

Anyway, my question is, if a pilot sees a beam, but the beam is not directed at them, do they still see it as a threat and call it in?
Sorry, been on the road and haven't had time for a reply.
-

When a jet is in cruise it is around 30,000-40000ft. At this altitude (unless you are really trying to target the plane) we won't see the beam at 500mW. The cockpit lighting tends to drown out really faint light at that altitude. Due to dispersion and scattering effects any moisture/clouds in the atmosphere causes, it is unlikely we will see it. Even at 500mW.

Aircraft deck angle contributes to this greatly; for obvious reasons, the higher we are the further laterally you'll have to be to actually flash the cockpit. Really, on approach when the aircraft is low and slow is it most vulnerable to a strike.

-This doesn't hold for small prop aircraft which routinely cruise at altitudes you could flash the cockpit when being careless. When these guys buzz by my sky I give the laser a break until it passes.

My advice would be to use common sense, be prepared to explain yourself if the cops ask questions. You also don't want to cause harm to others who are themselves responsible for many lives, both in the air and on the ground.
--If you live near an airport and aircraft are flying low enough you can see the cockpit windscreen or passenger windows, then find a better spot for your fun!
--If you live in a heavily congested area and the sky is full of aircraft, find a better area. The aircraft follow 'highways' in the sky typically with a few exceptions. Just find a clear part of the sky before setting fire!

If you are in your backyard and see little specs of aircraft overhead which aren't next to the beam and not flying into the beam that should be completely fine.

Based on what you described, I don't think the pilots could even see it. Unless the cockpit is flashed, 99 percent of pilots will say nothing if they happened to see a faint beam on the horizon while at altitude. I can't speak to everyone of course, but we see stuff all the time (e.g. spot lights, fireworks, balloons, lightening, and st. elmo's fire which I never get tired of

The biggest reason I want to get back in to lasers is so I can use then outside at night, I just apply a bit of common sense and do what seems most prudent. If you aren't sure, err on the side of caution.

That being said, getting back in the laser game is a bit overwhelming. So many choices! I'm the nub again it seems prepare yourselves for stupid questions from me
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Last edited by cavok84; 12-10-2013 at 07:43 AM.
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