Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pope's Plane Zapped While Landing in Mexico City

A laser beam hit the flight deck of "Shepherd One," the chartered Alitalia Airbus A330 carrying Pope Francis, as it was on final approach during its landing at Mexico City last Friday. The captain reported the incident to the tower immediately. The large twin-jet landed without incident.

While theoretically a laser could cause eye damage to the flight crew, the more serious threat is that pilots may be dazzled or distracted during the final moments before touchdown, the most hectic part of the flight.

It is not known if the Pope's plane was singled out, or if it was a random prank. In 2013 the FAA recorded 4000 laser incidents. Federal Law Enforcement takes it very seriously in the U.S. with a $10,000 reward and up to a 20-year prison sentence.

Alitalia Airbus A330


  1. It seems impossible to me that we don't have aircraft windshields that inhibit lasers. We need a high school kid to work on it for a science fair.

    1. The green lasers are the worst, being much brighter. Interesting point you make. It would be very, very expensive to retrofit all commercial aircraft with fancy new laser-repellant windscreens. And you don't want to degrade the pilot's vision. Maybe after they bring down an airliner with 250 souls on board they'll give your idea some thought. OR the Bear has a better one. Laser repellant sunglasses. Much cheaper. Heading to the research wing of Bear Manor to develop it.

    2. So it is possible there WAS a change in cabin pressure? ... something to explain promoting a legend in support of an opinion contrary to Church teaching?

    3. Alas, the airplane was on short final. The pressure is equalized at that very low altitude. And the Pope would be safely belted into his seat instead roving around cornering reporters.

    4. Bummer...Hoping to find an explanation...dementia also came to mind especially because there was a lot of rambling in his answers to the reporters...but I guess I should stop trying. I know that it is what it appears to be - intentional promotion of his opinions and as such efforts to change Church teaching without formally changing it. And this is effective - like we saw with Vatican II, people listen to the personal opinions and interpretations of the popes and bishops, which is good but they also believe them even when they are wrong and hold views contrary to the Church...

    5. And above I should clarify - his efforts to change "Church teaching" as in not the actual teachings but the perception and practice of it - without having to change anything formally, which the Holy Spirit will prevent him and the bishops from doing anyways.

    6. I see the Devil being clever and the Holy Spirit being wise. Pope Francis will not deform the faith. However, he is deforming the faithful. Hardly a "doesn't matter" issue. You cannot look at this dynamic as if this were the 10th century. The Michael Voris piece the Bear just commented on in Bearish fashion gets it half right.


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