A New York bound Virgin Atlantic flight had to return to London when the co-pilot had a laser beam directed into his eyes during take off from Heathrow airport.
The co-pilot began to feel unwell shortly into the flight. Laser attacks are becoming more frequent as imports of cheap lasers rise. They have the potential to blind or cause irreversible eye damage if aimed momentarily at the right spot.
The Independent reports:
Police said they were trying to find the source of the beam.
A Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said: “The VS025 travelling from London Heathrow to New York JFK flight has returned to Heathrow as a precautionary measure due to a laser beam incident.
“The safety of our crew and customers is our top priority and we apologise for any inconvenience to those on board.
“All customers will be offered overnight accommodation and we will get them on their journey as soon as possible. We are working with the authorities to identify the source of the laser that caused the return of the aircraft to Heathrow.”
A message on the airline’s flight status website added: “Following this incident the First Officer reported feeling unwell. The decision was taken by both pilots to return to Heathrow rather than continue the transatlantic crossing.”
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