Ornge aircraft struck by green laser in Lindsay
September 14, 2020
14 September, 2020
On September 12, 2020 at approximately 10:30 p.m., an Ornge London based air ambulance helicopter was struck by a green laser shortly after departure from Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, Ontario. The aircraft and crew were in the midst of a patient transfer, which was completed without incident or delay.
The laser struck one Paramedic in the eye, and as a result, he was referred for evaluation by a physician at a hospital. The Paramedic was unavailable for the remainder of the shift. Ornge is unable to complete helicopter patient transports with one paramedic. The Paramedic has since been cleared to return to work.
A report has also been filed with the Ontario Provincial Police for investigation. Kawartha Lakes Police Service is also investigating.
Ornge encourages anyone who witnessed this incident to contact the Ontario Provincial Police, Transport Canada or Detective Dan Thorndyke with Kawartha Lakes Police at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-324-5252. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or at http://www.kh.crimestoppersweb.com.
Pointing lasers at aircraft can:
- Distract pilots
- Cause temporary or permanent blindness
- Create a glare in the cockpit affecting pilot vision
- Cause further injury to Ornge patients
- Distract or injure Ornge paramedic
Under the Aeronautics Act, if an individual is convicted of pointing a laser at an aircraft, they could face up to:
- $100,000 in fines
- 5 years in prison
- Or both
Anyone who witnesses lasers being pointed towards any aircraft can contact their local police or Transport Canada.
In 2019, Ornge had three reported laser strikes on our aircraft. In 2020, there have been 10 reported laser strikes on our aircraft.
For more information about laser strikes, feel free to visit this Laser Strike Campaign page by Transport Canada