A drunken decision to shine a high-powered laser pointer at a passing helicopter has landed one Adelaide man in court, facing up to 14 years in jail.
Shannon Glomb, 36, was drinking with a friend in the backyard of his Salisbury home, situated in the city's northeast, last December when he made the "stupid" and split second decision to shine the laser at the chopper.
“I shone my laser pointer at a helicopter and it turned out to be a police helicopter, I didn’t know that,” he told Adelaide Now.
Mr Glomb said he originally bought the laser pointer from eBay to entertain his cat, admitting he was unaware of its intensity and the fact his purchase was actually illegal in the first place.
"On eBay, it’s described as like, a toy sort of thing,” he said, urging others against making the same mistake he did after pleading guilty in a South Australian court on Tuesday.
Why is it illegal to shine a laser at an aircraft?
Laser strikes are a "serious threat" to aviation safety as the pilot's vision can be incapacitated from the light, compromising the lives of those aboard the aircraft. Pilot's sight and the equipment on the aircraft itself can also be damaged.
“I’ve done my research now because, beforehand, I was pretty uneducated," Mr Glomb admitted, adding that authorities had been very strident about the risks associated with his actions.
After the incident, police were reportedly on his doorstep within ten minutes with the laser beam leading them directly to his residence.
“I’m getting in trouble for it, I feel like an idiot… it was a drunken mistake and I didn’t understand how serious it was,” he said.
“I’m normally responsible, but there’s that one time you drink and you do something stupid... I'm pretty worried."
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