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UK: Passenger planes escorted into airport by police helicopter after laser illuminations

Passenger airplanes were escorted by a police helicopter into Leeds Bradford Airport early in the morning of August 14 2019, to watch for laser beams which had earlier been sighted.

At 11:30 pm on August 13 Jet2 flight LS274, a Boeing 737-36N arriving from Alicante, reported seeing a laser said to be four miles from the runway. At 12:48 am on August 14 Jet2 flight LS250, a Boeing 737-8K2 arriving from Fuerteventura, reported a laser at a location 5 1/2 miles from the runway.

It is not known if the two laser beams came from one site which was judged to be at different distances, from a single source which moved from one location to another, or from two independent sources.

After West Yorkshire Police were notified, a National Police Air Service helicopter was dispatched to escort incoming flights. No further laser incidents were reported.

Ward cauncillor Graham Latty said "It’s a dreadful risk trying to bring a plane down, especially as Leeds-Bradford is in a domestic setting, with houses on three sides. People who would do that clearly don’t know what they’re doing. and as a councillor, and a human being, I find it ridiculous and disgusting…. It just shows, quite frankly, the depths people will go to. They haven’t got any brains."

A UK Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson said: “Anyone convicted of shining a laser at an aircraft could face a significant fine or even prison. We strongly urge anyone who sees lasers being used in the vicinity of an airport to contact the police immediately.”

From the Yorkshire Evening Post, Examiner Live and Wharfdale Observer. Flight data from Flightradar24.

UK: 9 month sentence for 50-year-old, for aiming laser pen at helicopter

A 50-year-old man was convicted by a jury of aiming a laser beam at a West Yorkshire Police helicopter. He was sentenced May 12 2019 to nine months in prison.

On March 9 2019 the helicopter was searching for a car that had eluded a police stop, when it was repeatedly illuminated by green laser light. The search was abandoned so the helicopter could locate the laser suspect.

Ground units arrested David Gill of Leeds.

At trial he pleaded not guilty, but was convicted of endangering the safety of an aircraft.

From the Daily Mail

UK: "Really stupid man" arrested for shining laser pen at West Yorkshire police

Lee Gary Greenway, a 25-year-old man from Featherstone, was arrested July 31 2014 for aiming a laser pen at a West Yorkshire police helicopter. The aircraft was searching for a high-risk missing person at the time.

Lee Gary Greenway laser
Lee Gary Greenway


During his arrest, he apologized for his actions and called them “really stupid”, according to the judge at Greenway’s August 25 2014 hearing. Greenway pleaded guilty to endangering an aircraft. He was released on bail pending sentencing on September 8.

From the Wakefield Express

UK: Bradford man arrested for aiming at West Yorkshire police helicopter

A 25-year-old man from Bradford was arrested June 6 2012 for aiming a laser at a West Yorkshire police helicopter from his bedroom window. The crew was able to direct ground officers to the man’s home. The chair of the West Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents officers, said “we absolutely deplore this kind of activity.” Andrew Tempest-Mitchell said the lasing “beggars belief” and should be dealt with in the courts.

From the Bradford Telegraph and Argus

UK: Keighley man arrested; new calls for laser pen regulations

The West Yorkshire police helicopter “X99” was lased a number of times as it flew over Keighley. Although there may have been two persons involved, police arrested one man, 23, in the March 15 2012 incident.

The arrest led to renewed calls for laser regulations in the U.K. (see related LaserPointerSafety.com news story).

From the Bradford Telegraph and Argus