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Australia: Study shows laser pointers are #2 cause of pilot incapacitation

A February 2016 study by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau found that from 2010 to 2014, laser strikes were the second leading cause of flight crew incapacitations, after gastrointestinal illnesses.

There were 113 flight crew incapacitations in Australia during the study period — an average of about 23 per year. Of these, 15 (13.3%) of the reported incapacitations were due to laser strikes.

The study looked at “high-capacity” and “low-capacity” air transport, as well as general aviation.

During the study period there were 1,316 laser strikes reported to the ATSB in high-capacity operations. Of these, eleven (0.8%) of the laser strikes resulted in flight crew incapacitation.

A summary of the ATSB study is here. The full 30-page PDF document is available online from ATSB or from a local copy here at LaserPointerSafety.com.