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post #11 of 26 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

Earlier this year I attended a safety talk by Coast Guard Group Sector San Francisco (in the wake of the LSC tragedy). One of the things they said was there was a standing order for all aircrews to return immediately for a retinal examination if they spot a laser. A second aircrew will be rounded up and then dispatched to resume the search. They did tell us in no uncertain terms if we didn’t want to see a helo fly away, then don’t signal with a laser flare.

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post #12 of 26 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

Having been "tagged" more than once with a laser (one of the joys of being a stagehand) I can understand why they want the aircrews back ASAP. Last time I was seeing green for a couple of hours after getting in the corner of my eye

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post #13 of 26 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

I saw this post on Friday, but did not read it.

Interesting because this happened over the week end:

Green laser leads to rescue of Oahu diver lost at sea


Green laser leads to rescue of Oahu diver lost at sea - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

They guy is lucky to be alive, there were rough seas and high winds at that location. In fact, there is a lost kayaker a few miles away- looks like he did not make it:

Rally planned for missing teen - Hawaii News - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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post #14 of 26 Old 11-05-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

Speaking as a pilot, the LAST thing I would do if you shine a laser on me is hang around flying low over water. I would be GONE. My son got a green laser for about $8 that is freaking BRIGHT. On a clear night I can see a very visible green line. You can shine that NEAR an airplane maybe, but please NEVER shine it right on the plane.
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post #15 of 26 Old 11-05-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

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Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
exactly.. in am emergancy situation, you can flash anything you want at a passing airplane to get their attention. It is perfectly legal.
You shouldn't do that, I don't care what the circumstances are. It's unlikely to have you found by anyone because you would essentially be blinding everyone in the cockpit, which not only means they won't see you, you actually endanger the safety of the flight. This is extremely dangerous, which is why being caught doing it carries such a significant penalty.

When you flash a laser pointer at an airplane (it doesn't have to be an airliner), the laser spreads through the glass into the cockpit, the effect is very disorienting and dangerous to the safety of the flight.
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post #16 of 26 Old 11-05-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

Kind of like how 3 gunshots are a distress signal but it is still bad to shoot 3 holes in the person you are trying to get help from
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post #17 of 26 Old 11-05-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Earlier this year I attended a safety talk by Coast Guard Group Sector San Francisco (in the wake of the LSC tragedy). One of the things they said was there was a standing order for all aircrews to return immediately for a retinal examination if they spot a laser. A second aircrew will be rounded up and then dispatched to resume the search. They did tell us in no uncertain terms if we didn’t want to see a helo fly away, then don’t signal with a laser flare.
But there must be a difference between a laser pointer and a rescue laser?
from How Do You Use a Rescue Laser Flare® ? | Greatland Laser
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In February 2012, the United States Congress passed into law HR658 authorizing appropriations for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for fiscal years 2011 through 2014.

Included in the law is Section 311 "Prohibition Against Aiming a Laser Pointer at an Aircraft". Section 311 39A(c)(3) on page 56 specifically exempts "an individual using a laser emergency signaling devices to send an emergency distress signal."

Greatland Laser has sold its patented laser emergency signaling devices throughout the world for over 10 years. We have never had a safety issue with the products. Under the exception provided in this federal law, Rescue Lasers are legal to signal an aircraft for help in an emergency.

For an explanation as to why the Rescue Lasers are safe when a standard laser pointer can cause problems, please refer to "How Do They Work".
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post #18 of 26 Old 11-05-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

This makes it sound legal and more official. Anything further on USCG approval (or SOLAS?) since Feb 2012? At about $100 each, and lasting well over the 3 years any pyrotechnic seems to be good for, they seem like cheap insurance. Any other instances of their being used?
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post #19 of 26 Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

In UK The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) have published this
RYA pressing for change in carriage requirement for flares | News | News & Events | RYA

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The RYA is pressing the MCA (Maritime & Coastguard Agency) to review the carriage requirement for pyrotechnic flares and to recognise the modern technologies that are now available for distress alerting and locating.

“In today’s modern age there is no compelling case to support the mandatory requirement of flares as a practical and useful method of initiating a distress alert and location” Stuart Carruthers RYA Cruising Manager.
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post #20 of 26 Old 11-07-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

I was at a safety at sea seminar last year. During one of the meetings a CG swimmer said the laser flares, especially the green ones, because of the night vision goggles, were very visible. The human eye is attracted to motion, so moving the laser would seem to be the ticket. Perhaps the CG has not issued official guidance to SAR crews.
Lasering aircraft is actually a huge problem, hundreds of cases every year. Those are usually high powered laser pointers, held on the cockpit of an aircraft, most frequently a hovering helo or aircraft on final. I tend to believe that a SAR crew on a mission would be able to tell the difference between a laser waved by a mariner in distress and a laser being used maliciously to "light up" an aircraft. I was peripherally involved in investigating laser incidents a few years ago. In all of the incidents I know of, the evil doer was on land, near a hovering helicopter (usually police or traffic), or on the approach path to an airport. The laser was maintained on the cockpit for a fair amount of time, not waved. The only "at sea" incident I ever heard of involved an infrared laser, a Russian "trawler" and a Navy sigint aircraft. I have been out of that loop for several years, but it's hard to believe the two scenarios could be confused.
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