Aircraft bound for New York forced to return at Heathrow after laser attack

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The First Officer, who was flying the plane last night, had damaged vision and felt unwell so was taken to hospital on landing back in London. The attacker used a powerful laser. He could be jailed for up to five years and find £5,000. Laser expert John Tyrer, of Loughborough University, a professor of optical instrumentation, described what it happens in a such case: “If you get an attack in your eye it will make your eye water and you may get a headache.(…) And of course if it’s targeted in exactly the wrong way you could permanently damage someone’s sight.” The British Airline Pilots Association secretary Jim McAuslan said: “We repeat our call to the Government to classify lasers as offensive weapons which would give the police more power to arrest people for possessing them if they had no good reason to have them. This incident shows why this is becoming more and more urgent.”

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