Pilot Said Action Could Have Prevented A Safe Landing
A rescue helicopter owned by the state of Western Australia was on approach for landing at Jandakot airport in Perth Tuesday night (local time) when an emergency flare was fired from about 600 feet away from the aircraft. The Western Australian newspaper reported that the flare came within 90-120 feet from the aircraft flying at about 1,000 feet agl at the time of the incident.
To make matters worse, the helo was transporting a patient who had been injured in a farming accident in Mount Barker when the incident occurred.
The Australian Broadcasting Company reports that pilot Michael Perren said the flare could have prevented him from landing the aircraft safely. But CASA, Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority, said it has no jurisdiction in the matter. They told the ABC that the issue was one for local authorities to handle.
Australian pilots reportedly are experiencing the same issues with lasers directed at aircraft that pilots in the U.S. are reporting. Police have described those who would direct a laser at an aircraft cockpit, and now who would discharge a flare in the vicinity of an airport, "idiots" for endangering the lives of those on board aircraft.
The incident is under investigation by local police.