A French Navy plane was the victim of laser illuminations Tuesday evening, while it was in the landing phase on the naval air base of Lann-Bihoué near Lorient
According to the Ministry of the Armed Forces, an “Atlantique 2 maritime patrol plane was the victim of laser illuminations as it was about to land on the main runway of the Lann-Bihoué naval air base”, indicates a press release from the Navy. Still in flight, the crew was able to identify “very precisely” the origin of the light beam and an individual was arrested, adds the Navy.
According to the Navy, the pilot being “unable to continue his landing” had “to abort his approach and put himself on hold at altitude”.
“The crew then implemented the aircraft’s sensors, in particular its high-definition day / night camera, to very precisely locate the origin of the emission of the light beam”, indicates the French Navy. The crew “were thus able to identify the individual and record evidence of the offense”.
They then transmitted these elements to the police officers of the Lorient police station, “who quickly arrested the malicious person and confiscated his equipment,” adds the Navy. A complaint has been lodged and an investigation is being investigated by the personnel of the maritime gendarmerie.
“Faced with the resurgence of this type of events against the aircraft of the French Navy stationed on the air bases of Lanvéoc, Lann Bihoué and Landivisiau”, the maritime district commander recalls that “the trade and the possession of lasers are strictly regulated ”.
Possessing or using a laser of a class higher than 2 can be punishable by 6 months imprisonment, with a fine of 7,500 euros.
“Beyond these penal sanctions, pointing a laser at an aircraft approaching a terrain, is to risk causing serious and irremediable eye injuries to crew members” recalls the Navy, and ” that in the event of complete blindness of the pilots, the risk of an air accident is major ”.