The pilot was blinded by a portable laser pointer during the landing of the American F-16 in Poland. Journalists were told at the airbase that there was a real threat of an emergency situation.
The incident took place near the 32nd tactical aviation base, based in the Polish city of Lask.
“The intruder was about seven kilometers away from the airport and was aiming at an F-16 fighter jet approaching the ground with a laser. There was a pilot sitting at the helm, who knew the area very well. That’s why he could easily determine where the man with the laser was,” said Air Force Base Representative Michal Kolad.
The police patrol was immediately dispatched to the alleged perpetrator’s location. However, the officers found no one and did not identify anything suspicious. The publication Tvn24.pl quotes an ophthalmologist as saying that the pilot could have suffered retina damage and lost control of the plane.
“It’s no secret that F-16 pilots are the elite. They can’t have vision defects, so someone’s stupid joke can ruin years of painstaking fighter pilots’ hard work. It’s a mixture of abomination, stupidity, and recklessness. I don’t know what people who shoot lasers at planes and helicopters think,” an edition of one of the F-16 pilots quoted.