The Virgin Atlantic flight, number VS453, from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv had to return to Heathrow after the pilot was distracted by the laser light. London 999 feed tweeted: “A Virgin Atlantic flight, number VS453, from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv was forced to return to Heathrow last night after a laser beam was aimed at the cockpit after take-off, leaving the Pilot distracted. Virgin Atlantic say all customers were offered overnight accommodation.”
One Twitter user responded to the news and said: “Laser beams are SO dangerous, they need to be regulated.”
Another said: “They refract on the glass and are often in the same colours as navigation lights, red or green, which is extremely dangerous at night when you’re looking out for red or green lights from other aircraft.”
Virgin Atlantic announced that the aircraft’s return to Heathrow was due to a “laser beam incident”.
A spokesperson from Virgin Atlantic could not confirm where the “laser beam incident” occurred.
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A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said: “On 15 March 2021 flight VS453, operating from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, returned to Heathrow after take-off due to a laser beam incident upon departure.
“The safety and security of our people and our customers is paramount.
“This was a precautionary step taken by the operating crew.
“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience.
“We would also like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.
“All customers were offered overnight accommodation and we are working hard to ensure they are able to continue their journeys as soon as possible.
“As is standard procedure for a laser incident, we swiftly notified the police and remain in close contact with them and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).”