CHARLOTTETOWN – RCMP are investigating a report of a green laser being directed into the cockpit of a commercial aircraft as it approached the airport in Charlottetown.
Police said the WestJet passenger aircraft encountered the beam of light at around 11 p.m. Sunday as it flew over the Brackley Beach area of P.E.I.
The laser, which could temporarily blind pilots, shone in the cockpit for about five to 10 seconds. The pilot landed the plane without incident a few minutes later.
RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Leanne Butler said police are appealing to the public for help after they patrolled the area, but did not find anything.
“We did not find a person last night,” said Butler. “If anyone knows who did it, was a witness to it or can point us in the right direction we’ll certainly follow up.”
Butler said the act of shining a laser at an aircraft is a serious federal offence and could carry fines of up to $100,000 and five years in prison.
“We take it as a very serious matter because it could have dire consequences,” she said.
A spokesman for WestJet confirmed the incident took place, but said it didn’t interfere with the landing of the plane.
“Neither pilot looked at the laser and were not affected,” Robert Palmer said in an email, adding that the matter was reported to air traffic control.