A still from a Transport Canada public-safety announcement regarding lasers and aircraft. (Transport Canada image)

A still from a Transport Canada public-safety announcement regarding lasers and aircraft. (Transport Canada image)

Pilots report laser interference while flying over Saltair

Pilots en route to Nanaimo and Victoria report green lights

Pilots flying over Saltair en route to Victoria and Nanaimo reported several instances of laser interference this week.

Transport Canada reports describe laser interference incidents Sunday, July 26, and Tuesday, July 28.

The first incident happened when a Pacific Flying Club Cessna 152, northbound on its way to Nanaimo, “noticed green flashes reflecting off of the underside of its wings that lasted 10 seconds.”

The second, third and fourth reports came from airplane and helicopter pilots in the same area.

A Cessna pilot en route to Victoria noticed the underside of the plane’s wings “suddenly reflecting a flashing green light” and after confirming it didn’t come from conflicting air traffic, noted that the green laser beam was originating from a residential area in Saltair.

“The laser emitted a constant green beam that was moved around rapidly while aiming at the aircraft,” the report noted. “The movement resembled the way a person would hold a hand-held laser while pointing it at an object in the distance.”

Soon after the Cessna pilot had made a report to the air traffic controller, a helicopter reported a “laser strike” around Chemainus and another pilot from Pacific Flying Club reported seeing the laser as well.

There were also reports of laser interference in the area in late June.

Transport Canada’s website notes that directing a bright light source like a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft is a federal offence under the Aeronautics Act.

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editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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