Plane makes emergency landing after passenger burns hole with laser


Plane makes emergency landing after passenger burns hole with laser

A Seattle-bound flight made an emergency landing when a passenger burned holes in the plane's seat fabric using homemade lasers.

A smoky smell was created when Alex Philip Langloys Miller, an unemployed chemist from Minneapolis, burned the holes in the seats.

According to authorities, cabin crew on the Sun Country Airlines flight from Minneapolis feared there was a dangerous electrical fire inside the aircraft when they smelled smoke.

The Aviation Herald reports that the FBI arrested Miller after the flight was diverted to Spokane International Airport in Washington.

According to The Spokesman-Review, Miller told FBI agents he had built the lasers himself.

Prosecutors are seeking a charge of wilful damage to the aircraft after several holes were found near his seat.

Lasers have also caused emergency landings from outside planes. In June, the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) called for action to tackle the growing problem of powerful lasers being directed at aircraft. Heathrow was named as a 'hotspot', but Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool have been frequently targeted.

The incidents involve lasers being shone into the cockpit, often from as far as kilometre away. Typically, this occurs during take-off or landing, and causes a "blinding flash" which can last for minutes, putting lives at risk.

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