Pilots complain of "laser" attacks over Canada

Thu Mar 6, 2008 4:16pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - At least 33 pilots in Canada, including some flying large commercial airliners, have complained about being flashed in the eyes by bright lights that could be lasers, officials said on Thursday.

Canada's transport ministry said it is probing the complaints, which started in 2005, and had handed most of them over to the police.

"All we know is that a bright light was shone into the cockpit. We don't know if it is in fact a laser and that's why when these reports happen, an investigation is started," said ministry spokeswoman Kirsten Goodnough.

"It is a serious concern because anything that distracts the pilot and affects the safe operation of the aircraft is a problem for us," she said.

None of the pilots involved had suffered any eye damage, she added.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Galloway)