RAF plane third targeted in Oxfordshire 'laser attacks'

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Green laser being shone in skyImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
A green laser was shone at two aircraft travelling over West Oxfordshire (stock image)

An RAF aircraft has become the third plane to be targeted by a green laser in the space of three weeks.

Thames Valley Police said a beam was shone at a large four-engine C17 while it was flying over the Cassington and Eynsham areas of Oxfordshire.

The incident, which happened on Saturday at about 17:50 GMT, comes after two training planes were targeted on 4 and 5 February.

A student pilot suffered a "laser burn" to his eye in the first attack.

Leading Edge Aviation, a pilot training academy, said the 21-year-old man was taken to hospital, but was expected to make a full recovery and return to training.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Thames Valley Police said a RAF C17 aircraft was targeted in West Oxfordshire, about eight miles from RAF Brize Norton

None of the crew were injured in the second and third attacks and on all three occasions, the planes landed safely.

PC Renee Gabbey-Cristofini said police were linking the attacks due to the locations of them.

"These incidents are very concerning and pose a real threat to the aircraft, those on board and the wider public," she said.

"These are highly reckless acts and has the potential to cause a serious incident."

The constable said such offences have the potential to "carry a custodial sentence of up to five years".

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