On October 25, 2022, an Ornge Ottawa based air ambulance helicopter transporting a patient from Alfred to Ottawa was struck by blue and green lasers in two separate locations.
During departure of an on scene response in Alfred, a blue laser was directed at the helicopter multiple times. The aircraft and crew were departing the scene with a patient. Video of the occurrence was captured and shared on Ornge’s website. The transport was completed without delay.
A report has been filed with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) for investigation and a Direct Bright Illumination Report has been filed with Transport Canada.
Ornge encourages anyone who witnessed this incident to contact the OPP or Transport Canada. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through Crime Stoppers at https://crimestoppers.ca/.
While descending and approaching an Ottawa area hospital with the same patient, the aircraft was struck a second time by a green laser on the pilot side of the helicopter. The laser was reported as originating from an area on the East side of Central Experimental Farm, near Ottawa Civic Hospital.
A report has been filed with the Ottawa Police Service for investigation and a Direct Bright Illumination Report has been filed with Transport Canada.
Arrivals and departures are critical phases of flight for the flight crew and require complete focus. Any distractions or injuries put the crew, patients and aircraft at risk.
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.
For more information about laser strikes, feel free to visit the following link: Laser Strike Campaign page by Transport Canada.