• Kyodo


A laser was aimed at a helicopter jointly operated by the Mainichi Shimbun and Kyodo News on Monday night while it was flying over Tokyo en route to Haneda airport, the newspaper said.

The 47-year-old pilot and one of the two passengers, a 46-year-old engineer, reported the beam shining into their eyes. But the pilot was able to land the helicopter safely about five minutes later, the paper said Wednesday.

It reported the incident to the transport ministry as a dangerous act, in line with the civil aeronautics law, and filed a report with the police. The helicopter was flying at an altitude of about 460 meters near the airport at around 7:25 p.m. when its port side was illuminated with a green laser, the newspaper said. The laser was beamed three times for durations of between three and five seconds while the aircraft was in motion.

A similar incident involving a helicopter operated by the Asahi Shimbun occurred in Fukuoka in August 2012.

Instances in which lasers are aimed at passenger aircraft and ambulance helicopters have become a growing problem in the United States.

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