An 11-year-old boy in the Urals region has confessed to attacking a passenger plane with a laser pen.
He says he found the device by the roadside and wanted to test it out. On Friday night, he directed a green beam at a jet carrying 30 people, which was in the process of landing. The pilot noticed the beam but managed to land safely.
The boy’s parents now face administrative charges for allowing him out alone at night.
There have been over 30 laser attacks on pilots in Russia since the start of 2011. One pilot trying to land in Rostov-on-Don was blinded for over a minute.
Following a set of dangerous incidents, lawmakers decided to criminalize attacks with laser pens.
The officials propose punishments ranging from three to 10 years in prison. The maximum sentence will be handed out if a laser-pen attack has deadly consequences.
Chechnya has just banned the sale of laser pens, following an attack on a pilot there. Similar measures are also being discussed in some Russian regions.
Such incidents are not common only in Russia. In the US there were 2,836 reported laser stunts as planes were taking off or landing in 2010 alone.
So far in 2011, pilots have reported over 1,100 such incidents in the US. Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it would impose fines of up to $11,000 per violation.