Second laser attack on Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Wiltshire Air Ambulance in the UK has been targeted again with a second laser attack on their helicopter by a person unknown on the ground. 

The attack happened over Corsham, in Wiltshire, as Wiltshire Air Ambulance was returning to its base in Semington from a night mission.

It is the second time the air ambulance has been targeted this year.

A spokesman for the service said it was “hugely irresponsible” and it had put the “lives of our crew and, potentially, patients at risk”.

The first attack came in February this year when the crew were carrying out a training flight and were preparing to land at a designated landing site at Hardenhuish School, Chippenham. A  very bright green laser was shone at the helicopter and the crew had to take evasive action and the landing was aborted.

Chief pilot Matt Wilcock was piloting the helicopter and said: “Shining a laser at an aircraft is exceptionally irresponsible and dangerous. It can damage our eyes which could then potentially place the aircraft at risk because we would be unable to see.”

“This incident happened while we were undertaking a training flight, but had we been responding to a medical emergency then we would not have been able to land and give critical care.”

“Whoever it was who shone the laser at our aircraft needs to understand the potentially catastrophic effect their actions could have had. We could have been tasked to attend their family member or friend and we wouldn’t have been able to deliver our lifesaving skills.”

Shining a laser at an aircraft is a criminal offence. It carries an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison.

Wiltshire Police is investigating the incident.

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