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Old 11-05-2014, 10:03 PM
Don Patrick's Avatar
Don Patrick Don Patrick is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: GTA, Ontario
Posts: 873
Default Quite the night!

I went out to Oshawa (CYOO) tonight to do some circuits in a C-172. My -8 is in the finishing stage and I need an engine, so the spam can fulfils part of my aeronautical needs! I recently picked up a new adapter for my GOPRO3+ that hooks into the aircraft audio system, so I decided to hook it up and try it out.

I'm about 45 seconds into my taxi to the active runway when I bring the aircraft to a quick stop on the taxiway....two deer come bouncing in front of me and run off towards the active! I just happened to pick them off with the dull taxi light of the C-172. I radio the tower and give them the warning as another aircraft is on final. Tower asks me to keep an eye on the deer (it's pitch black) so I start turning the aircraft towards the active (while on the taxiway) and surprisingly pick the deer up on the runway. Needless to say, the aircraft on final overshoots and the ground mobile goes out to chase them away. Once the deer are cleared, I head off into the darkness. Hard not to think about the deer now while I'm landing and taking off. It's deer season here by the way and some of my buddy hunters go north to hunt...go figure.

So deer free now and I'm into my second circuit where I'm now established on my base when a bright flash illuminates the cockpit...it was a greenish whitish colour. I was quite startled and informed tower right away that I was just hit with a laser! A couple of my co-workers are in the police Air Support Unit and have described their experiences with me when they've been hit. No doubt on this one. My vision was affected for a couple of seconds. I advised the tower of the location of the general area of where the strike came from, cancelled the touch and go and requested a full stop.

Our Air Support Unit happened to be airborne and I was speaking with the pilot after the tower called them. They headed over to the area right and away to see if anyone was stupid enough to do it again. The Air Support Unit has a great FLIR system and also had a pretty awesome mapping system tied into the camera...it actually shows the address where the camera points. In any event, they couldn't find the culprits. They actually need to be the victim to catch them in most cases.

I landed and made sure that my vision was back to normal before any further flying was done. I spoke with one of the instructors at Oshawa and he advised that they have been getting an increase in laser strikes. I know that the Durham Regional Police have actually had a few laser strikes in the police helicopter and have successfully caught and prosecuted those responsible. If you haven't experienced it, it's something else! It's amazing how quickly you can lose you vision at night, and mine was just a hit in the cockpit area. I couldn't imagine a direct hit to the eyes.

After I got home, I reviewed the video. The sound quality is superb with the GOPRO3+ where it captures all in and out of cockpit transmissions with this adapter. The video also captured the deer bouncing in front of me (So my wife actually believes me this time)...it didn't however capture the bright flash of light from the laser, but my transmissions to the tower were crystal clear.

Deer and laser in one night, and a CADORE's filed with Transport Canada....fly safe out there folks!

It's hard to see, but you can just make out the deer in front of me.

Last edited by Don Patrick : 11-05-2014 at 10:16 PM.
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