Laser pointed at cockpit cancels military training flight at 14 Wing Greenwood
Published Wednesday, May 15, 2019 10:46PM ADT
A training exercise Monday evening was anything but routine for Capt. Tristan Dobson of 14 Wing Greenwood.
“We just started our engines, luckily, we were still in our parking spot, right in front of the hangar and we were doing our normal checks we do before take-off and that's when we noticed someone shining a green laser at the cockpit of the aircraft,” Dobson said.
It's believed the person responsible was in a wooded area, near the south of the base at 14 Wing Greenwood.
Dobson has been a military pilot for five years and says this is the first time this has happened.
The training for Dobson and his crew had to be cancelled because once an air crew has been exposed to a laser, they're not able to fly until they're checked by a doctor.
“Any time someone shines a laser or anything directly at the cockpit, chances are, the pilots are going to get it right in the eyes and basically, it's sort of like looking at the sun, it's going to take away your vision for a few seconds,” he said.
The crew is all OK, however, this could have been a different story.
Dobson flies a C-130 Hercules and the crew could have been put in danger if the laser was pointed at them while flying. The lives of others could also have been jeopardized.
“The C-130 Hercules that operates out of Greenwood is a search and rescue aircraft,” Dobson said. “That's its primary role, so basically, you’re also putting lives at risk, of people who may need our help. If that had been a real mission, instead of a training exercise, we would have been significantly delayed, which could cost people their lives.”
RCMP are investigating and, if caught, those responsible could face hefty fines and criminal charges.
“For the RCMP, we could look at mischief or endangering life charges under the Criminal Code,” said Nova Scotia RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke. “There are charges for this particular type of incident under the Aeronautics Act of Canada that might be applicable as well.”
Anyone with information on the laser incident is asked to contact RCMP.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace.