This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

Belgian conviction for irradiating an F-16 pointed with a laser


The Belgian Air Force published on its Facebook page, on December 23, 2020, that in April 2018, a 69-year-old man from Hechtel (Belgium) was arrested after pointing an F-16 on landing using a laser. The Antwerp Court of Appeal has now sentenced the defendant to a fine of 1,200 euros and a six-month suspended prison sentence. The Defense wants to demonstrate the dangers and possible consequences of such behavior.

Follow Air Recognition on Google News at this link


Belgian conviction for irradiating an F 16 pointed with a laser 1 Belgian F-16s are equipped with highly technological cameras and sensors to perform, among other things, observation tasks. With the targeting pod, the pilot could identify the origin of the laser beam and the culprit could be caught quickly (Picture source: Belgian Air Force)


"Blinding a pilot endangers him as well as his aircraft and the lives of dozens of people on the ground," said Colonel Jeroen Poesen, commander of the Kleine Brogel air base. “We are therefore happy that the Ministry of Justice recognizes the seriousness of the facts and confirms the decision at first instance. "

The Defense takes this type of offense very seriously and has filed a civil action in this case. “People need to understand that lighting a plane is very dangerous. On night flights, as was the case here, our pilots fly with night vision goggles. They amplify light 50,000 times. During a crucial phase such as landing, laser light can therefore completely blind the pilot.

Belgian F-16s are equipped with highly technological cameras and sensors to perform, among other things, observation tasks. With the targeting pod, the pilot could identify the origin of the laser beam and the culprit could be caught quickly.

By its judgment, the Antwerp Court of Appeal confirmed on December 17, 2020 the previous judgment of the Court of First Instance of Limburg of June 15, 2019. The defendant was therefore sentenced to a fine of 1,200 euros, a deposit of 200 euros paid to the fund for assistance to victims of assault, a six-month suspended prison sentence with 3 years of probation and 148 euros in court costs.


Belgian conviction for irradiating an F 16 pointed with a laser 2 Belgian F-16s are equipped with highly technological cameras and sensors to perform, among other things, observation tasks. With the targeting pod, the pilot could identify the origin of the laser beam and the culprit could be caught quickly (Picture source: Belgian Air Force)