News24

ANC bash: 3 held over green laser light

2012-01-08 16:08

Johannesburg - Two men and a youth have been arrested near Bloemfontein for contravening aviation laws, police said on Sunday.

A 45-year-old man, his 14-year-old son, and their 22-year-old friend were arrested on Saturday night for pointing a green laser light at helicopters taking off from Bloemfontein Airport and Bloemspruit Air Force base.

The arrest of the three comes after acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi said on Thursday a no-fly zone had been declared above Bloemfontein and that the airspace in the area will be monitored during the ANC centenary celebrations over the weekend.

“No aircraft will be flying here to come and crash into the [Free State] Stadium [where the ANC centenary celebrations are being held for the masses on Sunday]," Mkhwanazi had said.

Police said the three arrested will be charged in terms of Section 133 of the Civil Aviation Act.

"The pointing of laser lights is viewed very seriously because it has the potential to blind and disorientate a pilot which could result in the aircraft crashing," Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said.

According to the Civil Aviation Act, any person who wilfully performs any act which jeopardises or may jeopardise the operation of an air carrier is guilty of an offence.

The three are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Comments
  • Hadassah57 - 2012-01-08 16:15

    You can't buy common sense or logical thinking in a bottle!!!!

      mdutriou - 2012-01-08 19:30

      Agree! sometimes commen sense is not so commen

      Trudy - 2012-01-08 22:43

      Mdutriou, the word is common.

      John - 2012-01-09 08:10

      What is also amazing that Emperor's Palace was give little red lasers to all the children who came to look at the Christmas lights. As this is next to JNB airport could this be considered irresponsible, or are the civilian pilots not so easily distracted as the Air Force pilots by these lights?

      Fredster - 2012-01-09 08:18

      Good thing he did not spill a drink on the president

      Bruce - 2012-01-09 20:52

      @John - The green laser pointers operate on a different wavelength to the red laser pointers, and are a lot brighter. The "proper" ones (not the ones that one can buy for a few hundred rand at gadget shops) cost well between R1000 and R2000 each, and are so powerful that they can ignite match heads, pop balloons from a distance and cut through plastic. Their beam is also very intense, and is prominently visible over a distance and without visual aids such as smoke. Consequently they are favoured by astronomers who use them to point out stellar constellations to viewers. People overseas have similarly been caught aiming them at overhead aircraft, and have been arrested and prosecuted. If you want to see them in action - go to youtube and type in "green laser pointer"

      Bruce - 2012-01-09 20:52

      @John - The green laser pointers operate on a different wavelength to the red laser pointers, and are a lot brighter. The "proper" ones (not the ones that one can buy for a few hundred rand at gadget shops) cost well between R1000 and R2000 each, and are so powerful that they can ignite match heads, pop balloons from a distance and cut through plastic. Their beam is also very intense, and is prominently visible over a distance and without visual aids such as smoke. Consequently they are favoured by astronomers who use them to point out stellar constellations to viewers. People overseas have similarly been caught aiming them at overhead aircraft, and have been arrested and prosecuted. If you want to see them in action - go to youtube and type in "green laser pointer"

  • Eduard - 2012-01-08 16:17

    maybe they prepared for a power failure...you know how Eskom is...

  • Ian - 2012-01-08 16:18

    say that when the pilot is blinded by those cursed things and crashes, lock the trash up (regardless of color)

      Senzo - 2012-01-08 19:06

      people die at the end regardless of colour, it is irresponsible ... I agree with you Ian on this one

      Grant - 2012-01-09 12:32

      Oh please man! Try point a laser at an object the size of a pupil from 10m away, and see how long you can keep it on target. Now try do the same thing to an airborne, moving helicopter, through the windshield at the pilot's eye, and keep it there long enough to have ANY effect. Silly, yes - dangerous, no (otherwise they would not be sold as toys!)

  • TheWatcher - 2012-01-08 16:33

    While I doubt they really thought about their actions and were just messing around they should have a good scare from the authorities. A night in jail (away from the other inmates - no reason to get them raped/mugged/killed) just to give them a wake up call would do the trick.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-08 18:26

      I am sure they knew what they were doing. Lock them up.

      Stefan - 2012-01-08 21:26

      It does not take a lot of thought to figure out it is dangerous to point a device with written warnings about eye damage at an aircraft. Even if they did not know, ignorance is not a defense. They were recklessly endangering lives through a deliberate action, let the law come down on them in full force.

  • klay.martens - 2012-01-08 16:35

    For the love of god: Laser (Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation) NOT LAZER..... Please learn to spell check!

      jansteyn78 - 2012-01-08 18:05

      That is not possible. It was written and checked by News24. If there isn't at least one spelling mistake, the site will crash.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-08 19:05

      Jan - no chance of that ever happening.

      SergeD69 - 2012-01-08 20:52

      Sorry, where is it spelled 'lazer' ?

      Stirer - 2012-01-09 06:10

      LASER is correct klay.martens; learn to read and spell check, yourself.

      Niekie - 2012-01-09 07:09

      Stirer, are you drunk or just stupid?

      daryltt - 2012-01-09 07:10

      They spelt it incorrectly initially. Look at the URL.

  • paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-08 16:39

    Bring back the death penalthy

  • Sam - 2012-01-08 16:43

    blahblahblah Iam reading the bottom screen of etv news that says Afriforum is comemorating deaths caused by ANC terrorism kwakwakwakwakwa let them go to court

      Riaan - 2012-01-08 16:56

      TKB. STFU

      emile.eley - 2012-01-08 17:34

      Riaan, pleez use zee beeg words.

      Riaan - 2012-01-08 20:47

      emile.eley - Then you won't understand, dear.

  • alexandra.nett - 2012-01-08 16:53

    Oh, I thought the area had been declared a "no fly zone".....so if it is a no fly zone then who would the green lasers be pointed at. As for the comment "no aircraft will be flying here to come and crash into the stadium"....this person is totally delusional....in fact it borders on stupidity.....as they say .... no pills for stupidity.....and this is what runs the country....into the ground.

      Power - 2012-01-08 17:29

      Don't worry, it's ONLY the acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi. By saying this, he sounds VERY important (in his own mind). Taken the previous two, what can you expect ? What about civilian passenger aircraft ??

      En - 2012-01-08 17:43

      no fly zone doesn't mean no aircraft....it means only authorized aircraft. i.e no casual flying by civilians.

      manningi1 - 2012-01-08 18:13

      There are idiots with a sense of justification who would do something like that. You get suicide bombers, why not suicide pilots. Look at the 9-11 attacks.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-08 19:07

      An AWB guy tried to crash his microlight into the stadium. His name is Ossewa BenLategan.

      George - 2012-01-09 07:58

      I knew a pilots who flew 3 successful missions. Now I know why he wore a crash helmet

      Jason - 2012-01-09 08:46

      Alexandra - Take offs and landings are allowed if authorised, especially if this occurs at an airforce base.

  • DjCapiche - 2012-01-08 17:01

    Man tickles ANC member. Goes to jail, does not pass begin.

  • Yar - 2012-01-08 17:10

    Well done SAPS. You have the largest collection of criminals in the world in one place, and this is the best you can do.

  • Mike - 2012-01-08 17:16

    Members of the aviation fraternity have been complaining to authorities about these lasers for many years now but nothing has been done about policing them or restricting the sale of them. Suddenly because of the ANC bash they get it right to detect, trace and arrest 3 people with seemingly little effort. It makes you realise where the priority in this country lies - it sure as hell ain't with the general populous.

  • Jeanette Rossouw - 2012-01-08 17:44

    May I ask who are they going to cause to crash with their light if noboody is supposed to be flying there anyway? Crazy idiots.

      Kobus - 2012-01-09 01:18

      Jeanette, bly eerder still as jy nie weet waarvan jy praat nie. Hierdie mense hou jou en jou familie veilig in die aande, wanneer jy jou koppie sagkens neerle....

      Stefan - 2012-01-09 06:36

      Goed gesê Kobus.

  • pws69 - 2012-01-08 17:58

    I can understand the father and the 22 year old, but arresting the 14 year old?

      manningi1 - 2012-01-08 18:18

      The father and the 22 year old must go to prison. The 14 year old must be put in a reformatory for juvenile offenders.

      Kgomotso - 2012-01-08 18:20

      Juvenial prison. goodness

  • pmolesworth - 2012-01-08 18:08

    You gonna close airspace around Cape Town for the DA caucus or around Ulundi for the IFP or God knows where for the Cope survival party? The laws of this land are used to the advantage and beck and call of a political party! this is not right

  • Trevor - 2012-01-08 18:57

    Can the ANC see GREEN....all they can see is GOLD to put in their pockets.....the says FLAG says it ALL

  • Burtfred - 2012-01-08 19:50

    Shove the laserlight up zooms' backside - let's check if there's any spark of intelligence there.

  • Denise - 2012-01-08 20:00

    “No aircraft will be flying here to come and crash into the [Free State] Stadium [where the ANC centenary celebrations are being held for the masses on Sunday]," Mkhwanazi had said. --Dangerous words. It's almost defiant, like he's daring someone to try.

  • Seja - 2012-01-08 20:01

    ...can someone tell me why adult mlungu men are prone to such childish behaviour?? if its not racist pranks its someone spilling a drink on the president or someone pointing a laser at choppers ... what for???

      TheWatcher - 2012-01-08 21:57

      no mention of race so could be idiots of any colour

      Seja - 2012-01-10 06:16

      ....bury your heads in the sand all you like ... you know they are white ... and none of you has even answered my question!! *P.S their names were later released so now we know for a fact they are white*

  • malcolm - 2012-01-09 07:27

    How do you point a laser at a helicopter in a no fly zone? What risk is there of any aircraft crashing in a no fly zone?

  • Andries - 2012-01-09 07:45

    “No aircraft will be flying here to come and crash into the [Free State] Stadium [where the ANC centenary celebrations are being held for the masses on Sunday]," Mkhwanazi had said. No self-respecting pilot will let his aircraft crash into such a dirty mess as was this venue. Almost,but not quite as bad as Pretoria rugby fans regularly leave the streets around Loftus Versveld stadium after a match.

      Mr C - 2012-01-09 10:53

      id like to find the person willing to kill himself by trying to take out a few ANC members... blow smoke up your a$$ why dont you ANC

  • Frank - 2012-01-09 08:51

    I thought the blue lights were the problem!

  • Frank - 2012-01-09 08:54

    The 22 year old was caught in the middle

  • Mr C - 2012-01-09 10:52

    ya, im sure that was the plan... blind the pilot at a distance of what? a couple hundred meters & make the helicopter crash into the stadium.

      mike.bester1 - 2012-01-09 12:04

      Damit, why did i not think of that.

  • Gail - 2012-01-09 10:55

    How stupid can some people be???!!! Geez they could have brought a helicopter down with that thing which would have landed on innocent people and killed them not to mention the people who were in the helicopters. Remove these idiots from the genepool FGS and sterilise them b4 they and/or their descendents can do anymore damage.

  • bigshowj - 2012-01-09 11:34

    Everyone knows that its dangerous to do that, i got mine from wickedlasers.com and the warnings are everywhere.

  • mike.bester1 - 2012-01-09 11:55

    Interesting Point a laser light and they can trace and arrest you on the same day, Have your wife gang raped and shoot your son and they can’t find you.

  • Deon - 2012-02-21 14:44

    Dammit, just wish shoerhead Zuma was in one of the choppers. I would like to have 1000's lasers pointed at the chopper.

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