OR Tambo pilots battle laser pranksters
Johannesburg - Pilots landing at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg have been falling prey to laser-wielding pranksters, a report said on Thursday.
Airline Pilots' Association of South Africa vice president Gavin Durr said the problem has been particularly rife in recent days.
He said the source of the problem was thought to be several shopping centre parking areas in the Boksburg vicinity, from where children were directing laser beams at descending planes, Beeld reported.
"We think the kids are doing it for fun, rather than to cause a possible accident. We don't believe they realise how catastrophic the consequences can be if a pilot is blinded during a crucial phase of descent," he said.
Although most countries do not have legislation in place to deter laser beam pranksters, this will soon change.
"Unfortunately there remains a massive need to educate people, and in many instances the parents buy their kids these laser toys, which are widely and freely available at flea markets," Durr said.