Security service detains Muscovite who laser-blinded planes in Vnukovo.

22/7 Tass 210

MOSCOW, July 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Federal Security Service has detained a Muscovite who laser-blinded pilots of planes which departed from the Vnukovo airport.

“Russia’s Federal Security Service /FSB/together with interior authorities has identified Kuleznev Alexander Alexandrovich, born in 1987, living in Moscow, who several times blinded with a laser beam the crews of planes, which were in the area of the Vnukovo airport,” FSB’s PR centre said on Friday.

“During the search at his place of residency, we have confiscated two laser pointers, which he had bought; and technical parameters of one of them make it possible to project a beam at a distance of up to 40 kilometres,” the source said.

Now, the law enforcement authorities consider for what offence the man may be brought to responsibility.

Rosaviatsia reports that since the middle of the past year, there were dozens of “attacks” with laser pointers from the ground as planes were taking off or descending, temporaryly blinding the crew, which could cause accidents.

“Since mid 2010, we have fixed five incidents of the kind, and from early 2011 – 30,” Rosaviatsia said. Most of the cases were registered around Moscow’s airports of Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo and in the airport of Rostov-on-Don.

The latest cases were registered in Vnukovo on July 5 – at night two planes were attacked by a “laser hooligan.” At 02:04 Moscow time, while manoeuvring to land in Vnukovo the crew of a Tu-204 plane reported that a bright green beam from the ground reached the cabin twice. In just several minutes the crew of a Boeing-737, which was landing, reported an attempt to blind the pilots with a green beam from the ground. Both planes landed successfully. Rosaviatsia says that since mid-June pilots of landing planes reported several times about the attempts to blind them by a laser beam.

On July 24, in Rostov-On-Don, unidentified persons blinded by laser beams pilots of three landing planes. In early July, in Grozny, law enforcement authorities detained a “laser hooligan,” who had almost blinded a pilot. The hooligan, born in 1994, comes from the Petropavlovskaya Village. Following that incident, the head of the republic banned the sale of laser pointers. On July 18, a laser hooligan was detained in Ufa – an eleven year-old boy projected the beam to a landing Tu-134 plane which made a transit flight from Samara to Surgut. The boy had found a laser pen in the street and decided to test it in the dark time. At night he went to the yard and directed the beam at the plane which was landing at the height of 600 metres. His mother may be brought to an administrative responsibility for parental duties neglect, as her son was on his own in the street at night.

In early July, the State Duma drafted a bill on criminal responsibility for “laser hooliganism.” Deputies suggest imposing punishment of up to three years behind the bars or of a fine up to 80,000 roubles. An attempt to blind a pilot may be punished by imprisonment for up to seven years, or even for up to ten years in case of dramatic consequences.

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