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Press release: Laser Strike

On Tuesday 4th February, a Leading Edge Aviation aircraft was the subject of a laser attack whilst flying over the area of Charlbury & Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire. The aircraft was carrying out a training flight and had taken off from London Oxford airport.

The incident occurred at around 7:15pm. The pilot, a Leading Edge Aviation student, who was accompanied by a Flight Instructor and fellow training student, was injured with the light from the laser which has caused a laser burn to his eye. The Flight instructor reported the incident immediately and returned the aircraft safely to London Oxford Airport with the full support of the airport’s Air Traffic Control.

The student was taken to hospital as a precaution and is now being treated as an outpatient.  Although the full extent of the injury means he is currently grounded, it is expected that the student will make a full recovery and return to training.

Andy McFarlane, CEO Leading Edge Aviation states “we are appalled by the seriousness of these events and are working with Thames Valley Police to ensure this cannot happen again. We are proud of the professionalism shown by our crew in taking such decisive action, without which the consequences could have been far more serious. Not only did the crew remain calm under difficult circumstances, they used their professional training to ensure the safest outcome for the flight”.

We believe there was a second incident on the 5th February also, anyone who has any information is encouraged to get in touch with the Thames Valley Police quoting reference 43200040257 or to call the independent charity Crimestoppers, 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.




Media Enquiries 

Sarah Champneys, Head of Marketing, Leading Edge Aviation.

01865 546300

07393 048536

[email protected]

More about Leading Edge Aviation  

Leading Edge Aviation is a rapidly expanding pilot training academy with a fresh approach and an emphasis on holistic training. Offering the highest standards of regulatory technical training, students also benefit from a comprehensive professional and personal development curriculum to enhance non-technical skills.

Leading Edge delivers modular commercial training and the LEAP® (Leading Edge Airline Preparation) course; a full-time integrated course with BSc degree.

Based at London Oxford Airport, Leading Edge students receive wellbeing support, along with the most advanced learning aids. Virtual and mixed reality tech, and neuro training techniques are used to embed and refine new knowledge and skills, creating pilots who enter the industry airline ready, with strong leadership skills.

More about laser strikes & aviation  

Laser strikes are a reckless act that not only endanger the aircraft and all passengers on board, but also those on the ground. Attacks such as this seriously jeopardise safety and can cause injuries resulting in permanent damage which can result in the pilot being unable to continue their career
in aviation.

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