Medevac helicopter struck with laser pointer near Caddy Lake, Man, RCMP say

A medevac helicopter was intentionally struck by a laser pointer tracking from Kenora to Winnipeg, RCMP say.

Kenora Flight Services called Falcon Lake RCMP on Wednesday after someone pointed a green laser light at the helicopter which was transporting one patient.

"The pilot reported being tracked with a green laser light, possibly a pointer, at a location near Caddy Lake," said RCMP Sgt. Paul Manaigre.

There were no injuries or damages but RCMP are reminding people that it is extremely dangerous.

"It can possibly damage the corneas of a pilot. Any damage to an eyesight is obviously not a good idea to someone flying an aircraft that needs to retain his vision," Manaigre said.

A preliminary incident report from Transport Canada said the medevac reported an "illumination of the cockpit due to a green laser," shortly after leaving the Kenora hospital.

The Kenora Flight Service Station notified local Ontario Provincial Police.

The helicopter reported another laser strike coming from near Caddy Lake, the Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) report said.

The helicopter reported a third laser strike on its return from Winnipeg coming from the same Caddy Lake area, the report said.

Police in Kenora advised the pilots that there was a home with an active Christmas laser display which could have been the source of the laser strikes, but the crew said they didn't believe it was related because they can tell the difference, the report said.

Last year the head of the Air Canada Pilots Association asked Ottawa to put handheld lasers on its list of prohibited weapons.

If someone is caught pointing a laser at a plane they could face criminal charges and a separate penalty under the Aeronautics Act that can come with a fine that tops out at $100,000.

Transport Canada says the information within a CADORS report should be treated as "preliminary, unsubstantiated and subject to change."