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Ben Longden

Aircraft laser pest sent to jail for two years and three months

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Adelaide Advertiser 8.4.08

 

AN Adelaide man who was one of the first people in the nation to be prosecuted for shining a laser at an aircraft has been jailed - and told he could have caused a disaster.

Lanfranco Baldetti, 23, of Highbury, was sentenced to two years and three months' jail in the District Court today after pleading guilty to prejudicing the safe operation of an aircraft.

The dangers of shining lasers at aircraft has gained national attention recently with attacks on planes in Sydney.

The Federal Government has moved to ban the importation of laser pointers, restrict their sale and crack down on who possesses them.

Baldetti shone a green laser at a helicopter being used by police looking for illegal driving activity in the Port Adelaide area in June last year.

The court heard the pilot saw the light flashing around the cockpit and was temporarily blinded for several seconds by two flashes to the eyes.

A police officer on board the helicopter, which was not a marked police helicopter, said the light was "extremely distracting" and he had to squint to protect his eyes.

The court was told that the flashes were dangerous considering the low level the helicopter was operating over a residential area.

Police on the ground were directed to Baldetti's vehicle and he gave them the laser he had used against the helicopter.

They searched his vehicle and found a rifle, silencer, ammunition and knuckledusters. Baldetti said the firearms were for shooting feral animals on a relative's property while the knuckledusters were left by a friend.

The court heard that when police put to Baldetti it was an offence to shine a laser at an aircraft he replied: "What about him shining a big f...ing torch at me."

Asked if he was aware of the dangers of shining a laser, Baldetti told police that "he started it".

Baldetti faced a maximum sentence of 14 years for his crime, which Judge David Smith said "must be regarded as a serious example of this offending".

"What occured here was a disaster in the making," he said.

Judge Smith said the court had to send a message to others that the "potential to create such a serious risk to public safety will not be tolerated".

Baldetti also pleaded guilty to weapons charges and had nine months added to his laser sentence.

Judge Smith reduced the total sentence by two months to take into account time already served in custody and ordered Baldetti serve a non-parole period of 10 months in jail.

Aviation safety authorities and pilots representatives welcomed the sentence.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson said the sentence would send a message to those contemplating shining lasers at aircraft that they could go to jail.

Australian and International Pilots Association general manager Peter Somerville said he knew of two pilots who had been temporarily disabled by lasers being shone in their eyes and one had suffered permanent damage.

Last week NSW Premier Morris Iemma said anyone who shone laser pointers at planes was carrying out an act which had the potential to commit mass murder.

"These fools think it's a joke - it's not a joke if you end up blinding a pilot, bringing a plane down, and potentially killing dozens, if not hundreds, of people on the plane and on the ground," he said.

"This could be mass murder. I'm not exaggerating, this has the potential for mass murder. Bringing a plane down is

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Guest airsick

I fully appreciate the dangers of doing this but these comments made me laugh nonetheless.

 

The court heard that when police put to Baldetti it was an offence to shine a laser at an aircraft he replied: "What about him shining a big f...ing torch at me."

Asked if he was aware of the dangers of shining a laser, Baldetti told police that "he started it".

 

What a knobber.

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Bubba likes little boys with little toys.......

 

The only sad thing is that my taxes have to pay for this fool while he's in jail.

Cant we just send him out on a wing to play??:big_grin:

 

Regards

Phil

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"What about him shining a big f...ing torch at me."

Asked if he was aware of the dangers of shining a laser, Baldetti told police that "he started it

 

OMG.

 

Anyone in doubt as to where the future of the species is headed should be directed to a movie called "Idiocracy".

 

The introduction sums up the entire movie

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upyewL0oaWA" Warning Not For Kids...

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Guest Fred Bear

Sounds like an immature little tw#$ with no regard for anything but himself. We have plenty of laser-shining morons here in Sydney too. Hopefully this sends out some sort of message to them. Probably unlikely but anyway...

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Guest Decca

Thanks for beginning this thread Ben. I could hardly believe the full weight of justice brought to bear on this "mature" version of Corey! But so glad it was when I heard this breaking news.

Off topic; welcome back Darren & Emma.

 

Regards, Decca.

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I wonder if he has Australian citizenship. If not deport the bastard!

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I wonder if he has Australian citizenship. If not deport the bastard!

 

Hear Hear. I'll second that !! :thumb_up::thumb_up:

 

Regards

Phil

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solution ?

 

1. ..and who knows if it is being done - TV cameras mounted on the planes to locate the perpetrator. Broadcast on consumer TV channels so the public can help in identification. TV ratings would soar and attract advertising. Electronics companies could advertise all sorts of things - like laser pointers? Maybe this should be moved to the neverending story!

 

2. Laser guided missile

 

Jack. :):)

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well, if you go 2 or even 3 cameras mounted on the cockpit (as far apart as possible) you could do some triangulation and pinpoint where it was coming from. Kinda hard to get right, but http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~twd25/webcam_laser_ranger.html should give some hints on where to start.

 

Unless the problem becomes more widely discussed I don't think this would get built. Expensive to mount 2 cameras and a chunky enough computer to do the processing - especially on an airliner.

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Guest airsick

Plus it only tells you where the idiots have been, not where they are. The problem is that the fools doing this can be mobile.

 

Laser guided weapons is the go. Follow the beam straight down to where they are... :helmet:

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Guest Rocko

Just goes to show how really piss-weak the legal system is in this country.

A maximum possible penalty of 14 years, but he might be off in 10 months?

Not to mention the fact he's driving around with a rifle and SILENCER, and only gets another 9 months??

Justice at it's best. After all, we are the country where taking a life might get you out of prison in 4 years. Why would a life mean a life?

The movie Idiocracy is zigactly right. As a country, we're so boned.

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Guest Fred Bear
Just goes to show how really piss-weak the legal system is in this country.

A maximum possible penalty of 14 years, but he might be off in 10 months?

Not to mention the fact he's driving around with a rifle and SILENCER, and only gets another 9 months??

Justice at it's best. After all, we are the country where taking a life might get you out of prison in 4 years. Why would a life mean a life?

The movie Idiocracy is zigactly right. As a country, we're so boned.

 

Could not agree more. Off to court on Monday (wasting another RDO) to give accident to an assualt that happened to myself Nov last year. Yeah, Nov last year. I ended up with a busted head and hand and run over by a motorbike and family threatened they would be burned in their sleep but the legal system obviously did not think it was serious enough to deal with then and there. My partner, children and I already have enough trauma from the event and now we need to dig it up again on Monday. The guys that did this have bail conditions not to approach here within 150m. What do you think they do every single day to taunt us? What do you think the police do when we report it? That's right, these a holes really know how to play the system. I know this was off topic but it still relates. Morons know how the legal system works. He will probably blame his rotten childhood for pointing the laser at the plane.

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Guest dracer

i agree what a idiot, BUT dont u think the media report/pilot went a little over board? temporary blindness? at that hight? come on.....iv had laser sights on my rifles for 10yrs and they wouldnt even temporary blind you.

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Guest dracer

mate there are people that help people like u. there a phone call away. BUT its not a cop. and it certainly aint the salvos

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Guest Fred Bear

Ha ha ha :laugh: I think I know what you are talkin' about :thumb_up:

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Guest dracer

i hope u and your family are ok, i know what its like iv been in a similar situation, the only exception is i would sort it out b4 they came near my family.

 

mate be strong on the day and hold your head as high as u can, u have a family and thats what u are expected and were bred to do....

 

im sure he will be right at the steps of the court house waiting, im sure he has some other scum with him, YOU make a point of walking right past, its YOUR family its time to stand up...

 

sorry about the rant im just very passionate and im bloody sick of good people getting pushed around!!!!

edited by Admin due to offensive language

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Darren,

 

All the best for Monday. Ive had feral neighbours and ended up having to sell and relocate thanks to their sociable behaviour. The local plods were on a first name basis with him as well, and could not give a rats about the problem we were having at the time.

 

We had our house firebombed as well as the usual things; vomit in the windows, pee on the door, eggs and the like. Even video evidence was not enough for the local plods to stop the 16-year-old-twin-bitches-on-heat having wild parties every Friday and Saturday night. Funny thing was we never rang the plods until the firebombing.

 

The next morning we went to the police station and gave them the petrol containers and such. The AR$%ole behind the counter just threw it at us and told us to get out of the station. I'm STILL waiting on an apology from this cop.

 

No wonder I have little time for the justice system.

 

Ben

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Guest dracer
Darren,

 

All the best for Monday. Ive had feral neighbours and ended up having to sell and relocate thanks to their sociable behaviour. The local plods were on a first name basis with him as well, and could not give a rats about the problem we were having at the time.

 

We had our house firebombed as well as the usual things; vomit in the windows, pee on the door, eggs and the like. Even video evidence was not enough for the local plods to stop the 16-year-old-twin-bitches-on-heat having wild parties every Friday and Saturday night. Funny thing was we never rang the plods until the firebombing.

 

The next morning we went to the police station and gave them the petrol containers and such. The AR$%ole behind the counter just threw it at us and told us to get out of the station. I'm STILL waiting on an apology from this cop.

 

No wonder I have little time for the justice system.

 

Ben

 

WELL WELL WELL, lets thank our police for there soft approach, problem with cops is the same as bouncers, they take the easy option..... i should know i was a bouncer and my cooks a cop. the neighbours the problem but its easier to get rid of u... BUT i mist say BEN, u should have called a few mates around, not mates that do the job but mates than do the job andstick around incase of post fire bombing.

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Guest Rocko

These aren't normal run-o-the-mill laser pointers!

 

i agree what a idiot, BUT dont u think the media report/pilot went a little over board? temporary blindness? at that hight? come on.....iv had laser sights on my rifles for 10yrs and they wouldnt even temporary blind you.

 

Depends what laser pointer they're using. If it's just a laser rifle scope, then fine. But to give you an idea exactly what type of lasers some of these tools are using to buzz aircraft, they are NOT the same as the lasers on your rifle scope.

 

Some of the ones used, especially in the US, are these babies.

 

http://www.wickedlasers.com/

 

They could do more than blind you temporarily. We're talking portable light industrial powered lasers, in some cases. I understand on the grape vine they're now banned from importing into Oz, although I may be wrong.

 

I gather a rifle laser sight output might be around 5mW max or so. Some of these beasties are 200mW or more (even as high as 300mW), which is an order of magnitude more powerful. Getting a face full of that wouldn't be fun.

 

Mind you, to give you a clue as to the type of person buying these things (which, I do personally admit, are pretty cool, but seem pretty superfluous to own), here's a quote from their web page...

 

"Why do I need a laser pointer with a range of 14 miles that can melt a garbage bag? Look, if you have to ask, you'll never understand me, baby..."

 

Oh, I dunno. I think I can understand the sort of wally he is . :im with stupid:

 

Scotty

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