IndiGo pilot briefly blinded before landing at Kolkata airport. What happened? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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IndiGo pilot briefly blinded before landing at Kolkata airport. What happened?

Feb 25, 2024 09:26 AM IST

Concerned about flight safety, pilots and airlines have urged the Bidhannagar Police to take strict measures against individuals using lasers

An IndiGo flight from Bengaluru to Kolkata experienced an incident as it approached touchdown, with a powerful laser beam penetrating the cockpit when the aircraft was only a kilometre away from landing.

The IndiGo flight 6E 223, carrying 165 passengers and six crew members, was scheduled to land at 7:30 pm on Friday. (File/Bloomberg)
The IndiGo flight 6E 223, carrying 165 passengers and six crew members, was scheduled to land at 7:30 pm on Friday. (File/Bloomberg)

The occurrence has raised significant alarm among pilots and airlines, highlighting the dangers posed by lasers that momentarily blind pilots upon entering the cockpit. Concerned about flight safety, pilots and airlines have urged the Bidhannagar Police to take strict measures against individuals using lasers in the approach funnel, posing risks to aviation safety, The Times of India reported.

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The IndiGo flight 6E 223, carrying 165 passengers and six crew members, was scheduled to land at 7:30pm on Friday. As it approached Kaikhali, the captain encountered a laser intrusion.

With the aircraft descending rapidly at a rate of 1,500-2,000 ft per minute towards the runway for touchdown, any momentary blinding or distraction could lead to significant challenges. In cases where the intrusion occurs close to the landing strip, pilots may need to abort the landing and initiate a go-around procedure to ensure a safe approach.

The complaint regarding the laser intrusion was forwarded to the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport police station, an airport official told ToI.

“The problem of laser lights and the hazard they pose to flights figured at the Airport Environment Management Committee meeting last week that was attended by Bengal home secretary Nandini Chakravorty,” the newspaper quoted an official as saying.

The laser lights, emanating from both sides of the runway, pose challenges for pilots in maintaining focus and visibility. The intensity of the laser light can be blinding, making it difficult for pilots to navigate safely during these critical phases of flight, HT earlier reported. Authorities said these disruptive acts may be intentional, though the motive remains unclear.

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