Flight turns back after major laser incident

Virgin Atlantic co-pilot reported to be in agony
A pilot in the cockpit of a Virgin Atlantic flight that had just taken off from London Heathrow was reported to be in agony last night following a laser strike from the ground.
The plane bound for New York with 252 passengers and 15 crew on board returned to Heathrow where the co-pilot was treated, doubling back as a “precautionary measure”. Police were contacted at around 21:35 on Sunday and are trying to find the source of the beam.
“The VS025 travelling from London Heathrow to New York JFK flight has returned to Heathrow as a precautionary measure due to a laser beam incident,” a Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said. “The safety of our crew and customers is our top priority and we apologise for any inconvenience to those on board. All customers will be offered overnight accommodation.”
As previously reported, laser strikes on pilots are a growing problem. Last November, a British Airways pilot suffered significant damage to his eyesight after a “military-strength” laser was shone into his cockpit as he landed at London Heathrow.
Earlier that same month, US federal authorities said they were investigating more than 20 laser strikes on aircraft across the country during a single evening, temporarily blinding pilots during the critical times of take-off or landing.
The Independent


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