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Un căpșunar român cât pe ce să provoace un accident aviatic în Scoția

de (18-9-2010)

A ROMANIAN berry-picker who targeted a fighter jet pilot with a £4 laser pen has been jailed for four months.

Strawberry fields supervisor Radu Moldovan shone the green beam from the pen at the RAF airman’s Tornado as it swooped in to land at RAF Leuchars in Fife.

He kept the beam focused on the cockpit for up to ten seconds, penetrating the canopy and distracting both the pilot and navigator.
Cupar Sheriff Court heard yesterday that only the skill of the pilot prevented a crash as he manoeuvred at only 1,200 feet.

Sheriff Charlie Macnair told Moldovan his actions could have had „horrific consequences”.

Moldovan, 28, who had been playing with the pen at a barbecue with other eastern European migrants, was caught after the navigator of the Tornado got a fix on the source of the intense light and passed the co-ordinates to police. The source turned out to be Cairnie Fruit Farm, where Moldovan was temporarily employed as a fruit-picking foreman.

Laura Wright, prosecuting, said the Tornado had been heading towards Leuchars at about 9:40pm on 16 August.

The pilot and navigator were directed to begin a precision radar approach with the intention of overshooting the runway.

Ms Wright said the pilot and his navigator had spotted the laser being shone from the ground at the aircraft, with the light penetrating the canopy, so they contacted air traffic control.

The plane, which had been five miles from the runway at a height of about 1,200ft, then attempted to conduct another approach, but the crew were again distracted by the laser beam as they flew towards Cupar.

The depute fiscal said there was a „flickering effect”, as if an attempt was being made to focus the laser on the Tornado.

This time the navigator was able to identify the source and mark it, using the Tornado’s on-board navigation system.

The crew made an attempt to land, but as the plane was positioning itself it was again hit by the green beam of light.

The pilot landed the aircraft successfully.

Moldovan admitted to police that he owned the laser device, which he had got on eBay for £4.

He said he had been having a barbecue and was playing with the laser pen and pointing it towards the sky, when he noticed the plane.

He insisted he had been waving the device about, but eventually admitted he pointed it at the plane when it passed and had tried to hit the belly of it.

He told police: „I pointed it as the plane went past and tried to hit the underneath of the aircraft. I did it again when the plane came past again.

„I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was so dangerous”.

Moldovan, whose address was given on court papers as care of the fruit farm, pleaded guilty to culpably and recklessly endangering a military aircraft.


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