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French Polynesia: Pilot "blinded" on approach

Police in French Polynesia are trying to locate the individual who trained a laser at the pilot of an Air Tahiti Nui airliner landing in Papeete after a flight from Los Angeles.

The pilot has told a Tahiti newspaper that he was blinded as the plane with its 290 passengers on board was at an altitude of 3,000 feet and he was about to finalise the approach to the airport.

The pilot has lodged a formal complaint and police say they have established that the laser was directed from the port area.

A similar incident occurred last year [2007] when young people pointed lasers at a plane from near the runway.

From Radio New Zealand International

French Polynesia: 15 days in jail for pointing laser at plane

A court in French Polynesia has sentenced a man to 15 days in jail for pointing a laser at an aircraft. The incident happened last month [September 2008] when the man pointed the laser at an Air Tahiti plane.

Police, who were alerted by the pilot after he was blinded, say the man was unaware of the risks his action posed.

There is no regulation in French Polynesia on the sale of lasers which can be beamed up to 17 kilometers.

From Radio New Zealand International