A Gold Coast man has been charged after allegedly targeting a Polair chopper with a laser.
It was one of two incidents in the south east over the last week where the helicopter was struck with a high-powered hand-held laser whilst on patrol.
In each case, the accused were quickly found using Polair’s infrared sensor and mapping technology, helping ground crews to make an arrest.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
A 61-year-old Nerang man has been charged with with threaten the safety of an aircraft or of persons on board an aircraft, and is due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court on November 11.
A 24-year-old Toowoomba man has also been charged with threaten the safety of an aircraft or of persons on board an aircraft, possessing/acquiring restricted items and failure to appear in accordance with undertaking.
He is due to appear in Beenleigh Magistrates Court on September 30.
The offence carries a maximum penalty of two-years behind bars and convicted offenders have received fines high as $10,000.
The recent incidents have prompted a reminder from police that shining a laser at an aircraft or into the cockpit is a federal crime which will be ‘taken seriously and rigorously investigated’.
“Lasers present a serious risk to aviator safety,” Queensland Police said in a statement.
“Pointing any kind of laser at an aircraft in flight can potentially cause permanent injury and seriously hinder the pilot’s ability to safely control the aircraft.
“Laser incidents also threaten the safety of innocent people on the ground.”